Lewis Hamilton has conceded that the W14 might not win a race during the 2023 Formula 1 season, after a difficult outing in Brazil.
The seven-time World Champion was optimistic they had found performance following the United States and Mexico Grands Prix, after the team fitted their last big updates of the season.
But the race in São Paulo confirmed Mercedes is still suffering from problems with the W14, with Team Principal Toto Wolff branding it their worst outing in 13 years.
Hamilton also did not hold back after the race, claiming that Red Bull would continue to dominate until the 2026 rule changes.
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Hamilton: It's been a killer season
When asked if they have figured out their problems from Brazil, Hamilton told Sky Sports: "We 100% know what went wrong in Brazil.
"Ultimately we didn't do a good job, but we took away a lot of learnings from it in terms of where we need to go and develop.
"Through failure there is always things you can learn from those experiences.
"Coming to Las Vegas we have a better approach, but we still don't know how the car is going to be here.
"It's still not a championship winning car, and I don't even think it's a race-winning car still."
There are fears that Mercedes' poor run of form might continue into 2024, as the team struggles to turn its current car philosophy into a race-winning package.
Hamilton is making sure that he gives the team space to understand where it needs to improve, to get back to the championship-winning juggernaut it was before the 2022 season.
"We've had so much work done throughout the year already. I'm on a group team chat with different departments and I will always be checking in," said Hamilton.
"But I have to leave the guys to do what they do best. I'm always going to be wondering what they're doing, but you've just got to give them time.
"It's small steps each week, and on top of that I've got to get my head in the right place. I've got to get fit, prepare for the next season, and spend some time with my family - it's been a killer season."