George Russell believes finding the answers to Mercedes' porpoising problem will help solve "99 per cent" of the team's issues.
The Silver Arrows have struggled for pace at the start of the season and despite sitting second in the constructors' standings are alive to the fact Red Bull and Ferrari are a "in a different league".
The biggest issue for the W13 has been the bouncing phenomenon across its suspension due to aero loading in a straight line, a problem Red Bull and Ferrari have seemingly at least caught control of, leading to a lack of performance for Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton finished only 10th in Saudi Arabia having failed to reach Q2 in qualifying, whilst Russell finished in the top five for the second race in a row and assessing the differences between the two cars, he explained: “On Lewis’ side of the garage they probably went more conservative with the setup than we did.
"That was the difference and it’s a real fine line between getting the car in the right window.
“There’s so many factors at play when we’re balancing [the car] and sometimes we change the setup thinking it will improve but it makes it slightly worse. It’s seemingly a little bit inconsistent.
“There’s so many factors at play between the mechanical stiffness of the car, the stiffness of the floors, the design of the floors, tyre pressures.
“There’s so many factors at play that contribute to making it better or worse."
Explaining how changing the engine mode can affect aerodynamic performance, Russell added: "The faster you go the worse it gets so it makes it harder for qualifying because we turn the engines up for maximum power to go quicker down the straight.
“It’s causing more downforce and more porpoising so we almost need to pre-empt this issue and also in the race, with DRS closed you have more downforce than when it’s open.
“That’s another factor we need to consider so we’re still learning and that’s why we’re far from optimal.
"If we solve the porpoising, that will solve 99 per cent of our issues.”
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