Toto Wolff has revealed some of his thoughts on the current state of competitiveness of Mercedes' W13, after a troubled start to life for the car.
Following eight consecutive Constructors' Championships, this year looks set to be a much more difficult task for Mercedes, due to the W13 struggling for outright pace against the Ferrari and Red Bull offerings.
The car's main issues stem from porpoising at high speed, which is having knock-on effects on drag and downforce levels as the team take steps to manage the bouncing.
It's the first time since Wolff joined Mercedes that the team haven't been at the very top of Formula 1, and the Austrian explained he's trying to take it in his stride.
"I've been in this situation before in life, and you just need to be humble about it," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, during the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
"When I said last year with the new regulations, how things were set up, that we could have a different pecking order – this is exactly what's happened.
"The midfield is very, very compressed and we're just not quick enough, full stop.
"There are so many areas where we know we can improve, and others where we don't comprehend the car yet.
"We just need to concentrate on ourselves and chip away at the performance. The team is still the same [as the one] that won many of the championships."
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Wolff still has confidence in the car's potential
Wolff has spoken previously about how Mercedes' own simulations suggest their car should be a second a lap quicker than it's currently showing, and said that he has confidence the team will eventually take that step forward.
Asked whether he still has conviction about the potential of the W13 after three races of the 2022 championship, Wolff was resolute.
"Yes, I do. Because what is the other solution? To dial back, go back many months, and then put that car on the track? I don't think this is feasible," he commented.
"It wouldn't bring us forward in terms of performance compared to the others – it is a relative game.
"So we have, at this stage, no choice but to understand. Whatever the outcome may be, from our understanding, we may change or tweak the car."
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