Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has bemoaned the disappointing upgrade package introduced for the French Grand Prix, with a clear verdict that it is "not good enough".
A frustrating weekend so far for Mercedes has seen them struggle to find their best approach, despite optimism about an upgrade package that has been introduced for the 12th round of the 2022 season.
Both Hamilton and Russell looked to be in danger of elimination in Q2 but pushed through on their final laps, following the introduction of fresh tyres, though neither showed enough to be much of a threat to the front row and Wolff was disappointed by the showing.
"We knew that once we got the new tyres on and were driving in anger a little bit that we were going to be a third force, like we have been all season, but it's just not good enough," he told Sky Sports.
"You can see when you're a little bit on the back foot, your expectations are on a certain level for the race weekend and then it doesn't come together, the freestyling starts.
P4 and P6 on the grid for the #FrenchGP! Solid starting positions and plenty of opportunity ahead! pic.twitter.com/kSjF923Im9— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) July 23, 2022
"With us, it was experimenting with rear-wing levels and also tyre temperatures, but in the end the overall package is just not good enough and we can see that."
Despite being disappointed with his team's showing, Lewis Hamilton did enough to secure fourth spot on the grid for his 300th grand prix start, ahead of Lando Norris, with Wolff believing he outperformed the car's capability.
"It was an immense job. He has probably extracted more than the car has at the moment," Wolff added.
With Russell sixth on the grid, it extends Mercedes' wait for a top-three start in the 2022 season to 12 races, which is the longest stint they have had to wait throughout their F1 history.