Team principal Ross Brawn has blamed Mercedes GP's disappointing performance in the Australian Grand Prix on the inconsistent handling of its car.
The team had gone into the Melbourne weekend full of confidence that its W02 was good enough to lead the chasing pack behind Red Bull Racing. But neither Nico Rosberg nor Michael Schumacher could get fully comfortable with the car throughout practice, and the team struggled to get all elements of its package working as it had hoped.
Although both drivers were forced out of the race with accident damage, the team was well aware that the speed was not good enough even before then. Brawn said the team did have the potential to do better, but things just had not clicked in Australia.
"We took an approach over the winter which culminated in the final spec of car in Barcelona [testing]," explained Brawn. "Barcelona is a track that we've never been super strong on, but the car was very good there.
"Michael was very happy with the car on the last day. We swapped around the drivers to give Nico an hour or two in the car and he thought it was quite a different car to what he had been experiencing up until then. So we came into this weekend with reasonable confidence that we could do a good job.
"But we had a very messy weekend. Cars these days have got a lot of interesting systems on and we had a job keeping everything running, which means that we haven't done the fundamental work of getting the car balanced and finding the right setup. It was a disappointing weekend and we should have been able to do better than we achieved."
Brawn said with the car systems not working as they had hoped, the drivers struggled to find confidence in the car.
"The problem we have got is that the drivers don't quite know what car they are going to have each time they enter a corner," he said. "The inconsistency is the thing that makes it difficult for them.
"We have had difficulties with a number of systems on the car. There are a number of things that have gotten messy this weekend and the main difficulty is that drivers and engineers have not had a consistent enough car to work on."
Brawn believes that concentrating on the current package was the priority, and that it was not just a case of delivering development parts to help lift its form.
"There are a series of upgrades planned, but what we have got to focus on is using what we've got already," he said. "The fundamentals are there and we've got to get everything to work well together over a weekend, and then we can show a much stronger performance."