Mercedes suffered their worst F1 season since 2013 as they slipped to the third-fastest team behind rivals Red Bull and Ferrari and found themselves out of title contention at the start of a new cycle of aerodynamic regulations. 

Much of the early part of the season was spent trying to get to the bottom of the porpoising phenomenon that plagued the performance of the W13 and gave Lewis Hamilton and George Russell an uncomfortable ride. 

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Speaking to engine chief Hywel Thomas in an end-of-year conversation released by Mercedes, Wolff said: “We came out at the beginning of the season with some wobbles on the power unit as well.

"We didn't like certain aspects of the deployment or the drivability of the Power Unit.

"And whilst in a frozen environment you and your team were able to really add on performance, cope with the difficult environment of a bouncing car that was breaking your engine and still we were super reliable, and the engine was performing very well towards the middle of the season and the end.”

Explaining the problems caused by bouncing on the power unit side, Thomas said: “It was becoming very clear that the bottom of the engines were taking a hell of a pounding. 

"I think when you came up to Brixworth last week you saw some of the parts that were off the race engines, and it was quite a surprise to see exactly how hard they were being hit by the ground.

"You know when you see Lewis [Hamilton] and George [Russell] looking a bit uncomfortable getting out of the cars, the PUs were doing much the same.”

Mercedes sceptical about F1 2023 title chances 

While Mercedes made encouraging progress as the season went on - culminating in their first and only victory of the year at the penultimate race in Brazil - the team remains sceptical about their chances of returning to form in F1 2023

”I think the interesting thing is how we move forward from here,” said Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott. 

"I think we've got to maintain that scepticism and be honest with ourselves that we were behind at the end of the year.

"And while I think that we've made good progress through the year and I am really pleased with the culture I have seen and the attitude, we will only see the return on that next year.”

Wolff added: "For me the perspective or the planning is not about the short-term, it's not about a race, even a season or two or five.  

"It's about I would like this team to constantly develop to be chasing for race victories and championships every single year but not taking it for granted, not having any sense of entitlement and if I hear us talking it almost sounds like the complete disaster of all seasons... it felt like it and I think this is the right feeling.

"But we finished third in the Constructors' Championship, we were very close to Ferrari, we won a race, we had 10 plus podiums. Whatever happens at the beginning of next season it's going to be another building block for the success of this team.

"We are trying to be as transparent as we can."