Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he recognises the need for his team to approach the 2021 Formula 1 title fight with a different mindset after years of domination.
Mercedes currently faces a 44-point deficit to Red Bull, its largest in the turbo hybrid era, and it has not won a race since May’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Red Bull has triumphed in each of the five grands prix since, with Max Verstappen’s streak interrupted only in Azerbaijan, where a late tyre failure promoted Sergio Perez to the lead.
“This is still the long game; it is against the odds for us now and that’s clear as they have an overall performance advantage and you could see that [in Austria],” said Wolff.
“But, it is like I said before, all these years I tried to keep our feet on the ground by not being carried away by the performance and now I need to do the opposite.
“We are not going to give up at any time of the season unless it is not mathematically possible any more to win this championship.
“That’s why we need to see these things optimistically rather than pessimistically like we’ve done in the past.”
Wolff believes that while Red Bull has had the strongest package in recent grands prix Mercedes has also allowed opportunities to slip through its grasp.
“I am always a sceptical person, glass half-empty [mentality], but in that case I am seeing the positives,” he said.
“And the positives are there are 13-14 races to go, we are one DNF away from Red Bull, no more, and we have lost more points than we should have lost to our own mistakes, so this is on.
“Clearly in Austria, in the last few races, we didn’t have the performance we must have in order to fight Red Bull and we are very aware of that.
“We need to just get our act together in every single area and hopefully perform better on the other tracks.”