Mercedes has lagged behind its F1 rivals Ferrari and Red Bull at the opening two rounds of the 2022 season as it continues to try and address the porpoising problem it is facing with its W13 challenger. 

The reigning world champions are set to introduce an all-new rear wing and potential floor changes as the first major car update of the season in Melbourne as part of the team’s bid to improve its competitiveness. 

However, team principal Wolff expects Mercedes will still be playing catch up when F1 returns to a modified Albert Park for the first time in two years.

“We are in a learning race and the first two weekends have shown we still have plenty to learn,” Wolff said. 

“At the moment, our track performance is not meeting our own expectations, but everyone at Brackley and Brixworth is focused on understanding the problems and finding the right solutions. 

“There won't be a magic fix for the next race weekend, but we're pushing to steadily bring gains over the up-coming races, to hopefully move us closer to the front of the pack.” 

Wolff revealed that Lewis Hamilton and teammate George Russell have been a driving force of the team’s behind-the-scenes push back at its factory as the German manufacturer looks to turn its season around. 

“Until then, we need to maximise each opportunity and make the most of the package we have,” he added. 

“So, there are various challenges ahead of us, but that's something we relish and is when a team really shows its true spirit. 

“Lewis and George are making an important contribution to the overall effort, providing feedback, spending time in the simulator and working together to help push us forward.” 

Mercedes form ‘totally unacceptable’ 

Hamilton suffered one of his worst qualifying performances in terms of pure pace last time out in Saudi Arabia as he suffered a shock Q1 elimination, before recovering to finish 10th in the race. 

Russell fared better in Jeddah, qualifying sixth before finishing a distant fifth in the race. 

Hamilton was able to claim a podium finish in Bahrain in third place, but only after both Red Bull cars were forced to retire from the season-opener with late engine problems. 

Wolff described Mercedes current performance as “totally unacceptable” after its disappointing showing in Saudi Arabia. 

“I love competition and I've always loved competition,” Wolff said in Jeddah. “We had a really strong run of eight years where we were leading the pack, not always, but we kind of managed our way into the lead.

“This time, for me, feels a little bit like 2013, where we just weren't up to the speed with the Red Bull and probably also not with the Ferraris, but we kept fighting and this is how I feel at the moment.

“We need to fight. It's certainly totally unacceptable where we are on performance. We're third on the road, and sometimes not even like today. So it's just not an option to stay where we are.”

Russell currently heads Hamilton by six points as the Mercedes pair sit fourth and fifth in the drivers’ championship. 

Meanwhile, Mercedes occupy second spot in the constructors’ standings, 40 points adrift of early leaders Ferrari and just one point clear of Red Bull.