Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff acknowledged that his team is the third fastest behind Red Bull and Ferrari.
The Silver Arrows struggled since pre-season testing with the introduction of the new technical regulations, and find themselves having a hard time catching up to the two top teams.
“I think we have to be realistic about our performance level at the moment,” Wolff told Sky Sports.
“That is [being the] third quickest team on the grid, and Lewis has put the car there.
“For George, it was probably us misguiding him on his last outing, because we advised him to push [on his outlap], and [he] probably had no edge anymore to the new tire.”
In concern to what their difficulties are, Wolff revealed that Mercedes are running the most drag, therefore losing time on the main straight.
“[It’s] very difficult to make a judgment at this stage.
“I think we are running more drag, or we have the data that we are running more drag than anybody else.
“We can see that we are losing on the main straight, but not so much in all the other ones, so we need to make an assessment after the first couple of races to see [if we are] lacking power or deployment, before we point fingers into some of the areas.”