Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been plagued by issues in the W13 car, initially severe porpoising at the beginning of the season which ended their hopes of challenging Max Verstappen for the title.
“When you look at a car, you have to look at it as a whole,” technical director Elliott told the Beyond The Grid podcast.
“When you think about strengths and weaknesses, we could probably talk circuit to circuit, but we look at how we developed the car, and I could point to one moment in time last year where we made a mistake.
“What you’re seeing in terms of performance at the track and the way it swings from race to race is a consequence of that.
“That’s a mistake we’ve known about for a little while. It’s something we’ve been correcting.
“And that’s why our performance has gradually gotten better, but it’s not something that we can fully correct for a little while yet. We will do over the winter.
“I can’t tell you the technical detail because it’s something we wouldn’t want to give away, but I can tell you that these cars are complicated.
“In order to get to the right solution, you have to get the best out of vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, tyres, the way the chassis works mechanically.
“When you make these compromises that are technically difficult, when you look at this year’s car versus last year’s car, they fundamentally run in a completely different way.
“You know, they run close to the ground, obviously seeing the problems of bouncing, and so making that transition from what we were doing last year to this year, we got something slightly wrong.”
Hamilton was denied an all-time record eighth F1 championship at the controversial 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year by Verstappen, who is also set to win this year’s title, possibly as early as this weekend’s F1 Japanese Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s hopes of responding in the F1 2023 season hinge on whether Mercedes can make the required changes to their car.