Mercedes endured their worst weekend of F1 2023 at last weekend’s Sao Paulo GP.
Mercedes simply didn’t have the pace in Brazil as Hamilton was overtaken by Pierre Gasly in the final stint of the race.
Surprisingly, tyre degradation was a big factor in their struggles - something that is usually a strength of the W14.
Hamilton was disqualified from last month’s United States Grand Prix after his floor plank had worn too much due to an aggressive ride height choice.
Mercedes have suggested that a too conservative setting may have hampered their performance - but that’s not the only reason.
“We were faced again with the enigma of tyres,” Riccardo Musconi said, head of trackside performance at Mercedes. “We can see them switching on and off within a few degrees so it’s very difficult to be on top of them.
“The second thing was the degradation. We were not at the best end of it as we normally are so that’s a new thing for us to explore and understand.
“Third thing - were we too conservative with the ride height after Austin?
“Possibly part of the answer will be there but we don’t think it’s explaining the full picture that we saw unfolding over the weekend.”
Mercedes sit 20 points ahead of Ferrari in the 2023 constructors’ championship with two rounds remaining.