Mercedes believes that its in-season development, and understanding of its weaknesses, means it will be “in a very strong place” in 2023.
Mercedes swept to eight successive world titles from 2014 through 2021 but stumbled upon the introduction of new technical regulations for 2022.
It claimed only one victory in a season in which it usually trailed Red Bull and Ferrari, though it made progress with its W13 after initially struggling to understand the flaws of the car.
Reflecting on the 2022 campaign, Mercedes’ Strategy Director James Vowles said: “I don’t think you can truly now or even across the winter state that we know everything about the W13.
“Across the year we learned and discovered a whole series of new items that really we had to learn, understand and develop very quickly.
“If you compare where we were in Melbourne, Imola, that first little sequence of the year at tracks that are normal tracks for want of a better word and then compared to where we were after the Austin update, the final update of the year that we brought, so that’s Austin, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
“There have been some ups and downs very much so and that’s the part of what I meant by this car has items that we believe we understand and some of them that still not fully explained as a result of that.
“But if you look at the direction moving forward the gaps to the front especially on race pace we made huge amounts of progress and you only do that by understanding where your problems are, working on them and working as a team.”
Mercedes still has to close a sizeable performance deficit to champions Red Bull in order to fight for the title in 2023.
“Is it enough to win next year? [That is] really where that question goes,” said Vowles.
“The confidence we have is that we now have our tools, our wind tunnel tools, our development tools, our performance tools here in the organisation producing performance which is more than our competitors, it’s allowing us to move further forward relative to them.
“There is still a void though and Abu Dhabi really showed that. That has to be caught up across the winter and I think we have a very good process and system in place to do that.
“That development that you saw across the season will continue across the winter and I think we will be in a very strong place next year.”
It would be great for them to be at the very least competitive,so instead of just two camps vying for wins,three would be involved.