Mercedes say they expect to start the new Formula 1 season next weekend with a slower car than Red Bull.
In pre-season testing last weekend, Mercedes struggled, with their new car apparently lacking pace and stability.
“There are a lot of unknowns,” Mercedes strategy director James Vowles said. “No-one up and down the paddock can pinpoint exactly where they are.
“But there are a few trends that have come out. I’d say Red Bull are ahead on performance. They are the class act.”