Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has insisted circumstances will ensure the Silver Arrows don't fall into championship slumps suffered by Red Bull and Ferrari.
The W13 left Lewis Hamilton and George Russell off the pace all season, with the only highlights provided by the former Williams driver who secured a pole position in Hungary and a win in Brazil.
Finishing third in the constructors' standings brought an end to an eight-year title-winning streak for the German manufacturer, with Red Bull and Ferrari emerging from the doldrums to take the top two positions.
The Scuderia hasn't won a championship since taking the constructors' crown in 2008 whilst Red Bull waited eight years between 2013 and 2021 before Max Verstappen ended the Milton Keynes-based team's drought.
Asked if he was sure Mercedes could avoid a similar drastic downfall, Wolff explained: "With Ferrari, for example, they lost the whole of their top leadership and a key driver. That is something where you can trace it back.
"With Red Bull, it was a fundamental situation where the power unit changed upside down and no works deal.
"We are looking at that and thinking 'We better be careful,' because a season has gone by in a heartbeat.
"We can't let it happen to look back at the end of next season and the one after, saying 'That's bitter'."