Toto Wolff has suggested an outsider would believe they were at a "Williams debriefing" if they had walked into post-race discussions at the F1 champions.
Mercedes has experienced a difficult two-race swing in its quest for an eighth consecutive constructors' title, scoring just seven points across the Monaco and Azerbaijan Grands Prix and dropping to 26 points behind Red Bull.
"When you listen to a debrief today after a weekend where we finish first and second, you would think this is a Williams debriefing from a weekend on a 10th place," Wolff explained at an Oxford University discussion on 'Leadership in Extraordinary Times'.
"I don't mean that in an arrogant way, it is just a culture that is always sceptical and we always believe we are not good enough and have to stay on our toes in order to maintain our success and that starts with sometimes going where it hurts."
Mercedes "frustration reflects high standards"
Mercedes enters the French Grand Prix weekend knowing it has to stop the flow of Red Bull superiority and get the championship fight back on track.
Wolff explained that the expectation exerted by the team leads to the build-up of emotion but this is used to kick on from difficult results.
"We come off the back of two street circuits unsuited to our car, two circuits we knew would be difficult for us, and we were disappointed to lose a podium finish and a victory through our own mistakes," he added.
"That frustration reflects the high standards we hold ourselves to, and it is what drives us forward."
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