Toto Wolff has conceded Mercedes is still "flying in the fog" with its "super-difficult" W13 despite a strong showing at the Miami Grand Prix.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished fifth and sixth in Miami behind only the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers.
Despite showing strong race pace, a dramatic swing in performance for Russell across the weekend having topping second practice yet qualifying only 12th led to team principal Wolff conceding the team is still struggling to understand its car.
“We have been [struggling] straight from the beginning, flying in the fog a little bit," explained Wolff.
"And it is clear that there is potential in the car and she is fast but we just don’t understand how to unlock the potential.
.“It is a car that is probably super-difficult to drive on the edge, dipping in and out of the performance window, more out than in, and dissecting the data with a scalpel is just a painful process because it takes a long time."
Mercedes data fails to match feedback
Mercedes has struggled with porpoising more than the majority of teams with the new ground-effect cars this season.
But an added and unexpected problem for Mercedes has been a lack of correlation between what the drivers are saying and what the data shows.
"As a matter of fact, the data sometimes doesn’t show what the drivers tell us," Wolff explained.
“Certainly, they have their hands full with a car that is just not at all comfortable to drive, nice to drive or predictable to drive but the data doesn’t show these big swings.
“We haven’t had this situation before in any of the years that it just didn’t correlate on the screens, what we see, with what the driver feels and that is making it even more difficult.”