Mercedes boss Norbert Haug has conceded that the team will probably have to wait a few more years before it can challenge for any titles.
Mercedes finished fourth in the F1 Constructors' Championship in 2011, behind Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull Racing. In total Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher combined to score 165 points for the Brackley-based outfit, which left it 210 off Ferrari and 485 points off Red Bull, who scored 650 and who were again champions.
Speaking to Germany's DPA
news agency this week, Haug admitted that third place this year would be acceptable.
“Normally you don't see a jump from fourth to first, but we want to start the countdown: four, three, two, one,” he confirmed. “Our engine is said to be the best. Our KERS is said to be the best. Now we want to achieve that with our car as well.”
Mercedes team principal, Ross Brawn meanwhile also believes that the squad has some way to go before it can win races.
“Not yet,” Brawn replied, when asked if they have a winning car in the shape of the new F1 W03. “We have made a big step forward in the past twelve months, but we still have plenty to do.”