Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the team "need to stay humble" after finishing second and third in a dramatic French Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell capitalised on Charles Leclerc's retirement, and Carlos Sainz's back-of-the-grid start, to follow Red Bull's Max Verstappen home at Paul Ricard.
It marked the Silver Arrows' best result of the season so far and brought them within 50 points of Ferrari in the Constructors' standings.
However, with the W13 finishing a second off the pole position time in qualifying, Wolff admitted the 2-3 result would not have been possible in normal circumstances.
Wolff: Mercedes still lacking to Red Bull and Ferrari
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Wolff said: "We need to stay humble. Our car is just not good [enough] at the moment to fight with the guys in front.
"I'm always a little bit pessimistic because I think I need to be. We are just lacking six or seven tenths to the leaders.
"Whilst we have stabilised [the gap] in the race and [Max] Verstappen hasn't been really gaining more ground, he was also looking after his tyres.
"Overall, I think the team effort was great. The drivers did a really good job. George was clever and fast. 'Lewis the lion' was just always there, didn't let loose, and we're doing the maximum at the moment on race day."
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Mercedes in "trial and error" mode with the W13
As for why Mercedes appear to be enjoying stronger races than qualifying sessions, Wolff admitted the team are doing "a lot of head scratching".
"We don't know, but we struggle to bring the tyres in the optimum window," he continued.
"In qualifying sometimes we have it in the second or third push lap, and obviously you're missing the peak then from the first flying lap.
"Then, in the race, you can see that we're losing three seconds at the beginning of the race, or four, and then we're stabilising [and] we're actually not so bad.
"So there's a lot of head scratching going on, but we have the most capable people, the best ones, I believe.
"At the moment it's a little bit trial and error, but it's great to see that science can also improvise, and we've got to move fast."
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