Mercedes has no explanation for what went wrong with its performance at Formula 1's French Grand Prix, where the W13 showed "no performance."
Mercedes has no response to "no performance" at the French Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who entered the Paul Ricard weekend with the intention of contending for the win, were placed further back than they had been in recent races.
Fourth-placed Hamilton was roughly nine tenths behind pole-sitter Charles Leclerc, while sixth-placed Russell was more than 1.2 seconds behind.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff stated that his team was left perplexed as to why it was unable to live up to high expectations after a slew of experimentation over the weekend yielded no answers.
"We were slowly but surely working our way back to the front-runners," said Wolff about Mercedes' recent progress.
"There were good signs at Silverstone and then we went to Austria, at a track where we were normally not competitive at all, and we could clearly see the signs why we were not competitive. However, we were near. It's a one-minute circuit and we were three tenths off, which was acceptable.
"Then we brought quite a nice update package to Paul Ricard, the track is smooth, off we go. Let's hunt them down! And no performance. Like, no performance. And we can't figure it out.
"We can't figure out what went wrong. We experimented with rear wings, from almost the biggest we have which Lewis described as dragging a parachute behind him this morning, to a smaller version, which makes us lose too much speed in the corners.
"Then we're experimenting with tyre temperatures. And can see the gap to Verstappen. If you told me we would end up between seventh tenths and 1.1 seconds off, that's a bit of a slap in the face."
Mercedes was particularly sluggish in the last sector's tight turns at Paul Ricard, but did not gain much ground on the straights, indicating that the W13 may have a deficiency in aerodynamic efficiency.
Asked about that being a potential explanation for its form, Wolff said: "I wouldn't know whether it's the aero map per se, but what we're seeing is that within one session, we go from totally uncompetitive in the first sector, to the second run in Q3 where we're the best in sector one.
"Clearly there's something happening, whether it's wind affected or tyre dependent, that is just not working on our car. The car is on the edge. And between hero and zero, there's just a super fine margin that we don't seem to understand."