Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn has admitted that the Brackley-based needs to 'reflect' and 'assess' to see what its next steps should be after a dismal showing Saturday in qualifying for the European Grand Prix.
Mercedes endured its worst qualifying performance of the season yesterday in Valencia and both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher failed to progress to the top-ten shoot-out.
Consequently they will start Sunday's race in 12th and 15th respectively, and while were trying to stay positive and insisted that the updates introduced for this event were a step in the right direction [see separate story - click here
], Brawn conceded that that might not actually be the case.
"Clearly that was a difficult qualifying session. After Montreal, we thought that we understood our issues with the tyres but they are still proving to be a challenge," Brawn stated. "The team and drivers did as well as they could today but we do not have the pace at the moment and we are not making the tyres work well, particularly in qualifying.
"We are pushing very hard to develop the car and sometimes in pushing so hard, you trip over. We now need to reflect, assess and see what our next steps should be."
Mercedes F1 chief Norbert Haug meanwhile was equally frustrated to see the team beaten to Q3 and seemingly overtaken by Williams. He is hopeful though, that the race will be a different story and that they can yet salvage something from the weekend.
"It is a disappointing qualifying result today for our team. Of course it was very tight, but if you are six-tenths slower than the best lap time, then you end up in twelfth place like Nico. Michael hit traffic in the last sector of his fastest lap which prevented him from improving further," Haug continued.
"We will certainly not give up on improving our package as we have done continuously since the season began but our competitors have been doing the same. Our race pace tomorrow should be better."