Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes Mike Elliott's "baptism of fire" will stand him in good stead for his future as technical director.
Elliott took over the position from distinguished F1 engineer James Allison in 2021, who stepped up to the role of chief technical officer at the Brackley-based team.
The handover period took place whilst Mercedes was developing its challenger for the new regulations F1 introduced this season.
The W13 was not up to par with Red Bull and Ferrari, however, leading to Elliott being tasked with turning around fortunes as the Silver Arrows sought answers to its issues with porpoising and drag efficiency.
After the team's first non-championship winning season since 2013, speaking in an end-of-season interview with GPFans, Wolff said: "Mike used the phrase 'baptism of fire' for him. It couldn't have been more difficult.
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"On the other side, it was a development that will be very crucial for him long term. It's made him better as a technical director."
Allison "a sparring partner" for Elliott at Mercedes - Wolff
Explaining that Elliott has a shoulder to lean on in predecessor Allison, Wolff added: "You must bear in mind James is still there, as CTO, so oversees all of the technical co-ordination between HPP and MGP.
"So he is always there as a sparring partner, mentor and sounding board for Mike, and some of the other technical leaders.
"Added to that, we have a very stable group of top engineers that have been there for a long time in their roles, and that hasn't changed.
"Everybody is moving up but Mike was the first one to take this role as a technical director so the performance group is the same as it was before."
Additional reporting by Ewan Gale