Nico Rosberg has said Mercedes needs to focus on race performance in the wake of his struggles during the 2013 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Rosberg had been on a high after qualifying on pole position on Saturday at the Sakhir circuit, but rear tyre degradation saw him flounder yesterday afternoon.
Indeed as the race went on he slipped further and further down the pack, eventually finishing in ninth, 41.1 seconds off the winner, Sebastian Vettel.
The fact team-mate, Lewis Hamilton hauled the sister car up to fifth, merely accentuated his misery.
“A tough day at the office for me,” said Rosberg. “As nice as it was to start from pole, it was just as hard to finish in ninth place – it is not the way to do it. I just went backwards and that is not good.
“I didn't feel comfortable in the car today and it wasn't much fun out there really. We focused much too much on qualifying and not enough on the race. We switched to a four-stop strategy at the end of my third stint but it wasn't enough. We were using the rear tyres too much and at the end, I was really struggling and wasn't able to push hard enough."
“There is a lot of work ahead and we need to focus on why our race performance isn't matching the pace that we can show in qualifying. Hopefully we can make some steps here before the European season starts,” he added.
Team principal, Ross Brawn and Mercedes motorsport boss, Toto Wolff meanwhile were also disappointed and agree that work needs to be done to ensure they can better exploit the Pirelli tyres.
“We struggled badly in the early part of the race when the track temperatures were at their highest,” Brawn noted. “This is an issue we have to address and we will continue working on solutions to improve our performance in this area.
“Lewis and Nico did as good a job as possible with the car we had this afternoon but it was a case of damage limitation for both of them. However we must make it a priority to cope better with elevated temperatures: the tyres are the same for everybody and we are not performing as well as our competitors in these conditions.”
“We knew it would be a tough day and the high track temperatures were clearly not good for us,” Wolff continued. “That's not an excuse but a priority area to improve. We need to analyse carefully why we suffered so much, particularly in the early stages, and why we were not on the pace.
"From a team perspective we must see this as a disappointing result. We learned a lot this afternoon but it is clear that we still have a lot to learn.”