Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has outlined the Silver Arrow's "centimetre by centimetre" plan to claw back ground on early F1 pacesetters Red Bull and Ferrari.
Mercedes had no answer for the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix despite Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing third and fourth.
In qualifying, Hamilton had trailed pole-sitter, Charles Leclerc, by 0.680secs with Russell, who made an error on his lap, almost a second further back.
Far from being panicked by the team's performance, Wolff had his eyes firmly fixed on the bigger picture.
“The long game is 10 years and that is why when I even look at the season, with stable regulations until 2026, it is how well you learn and that is why, for me, I would qualify the race as a test," Wolff explained.
“There is more understanding of where the gaps lie, it is in pretty much every area, and now we just need to regain land centimetre by centimetre.”
Red Bull missed out on a 30-point haul after the late retirements of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Putting last year's rivalry to one side, Wolff added: "I don’t wish anybody that, and it was certainly a brutal race for them.”