Mercedes is in need of something “more radical” on its 2023 Formula 1 car after Toto Wolf described its performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix as “one of the worst days in racing”.

At the opening race of the season, Mercedes found itself no closer the front of the field off the back of its on-track struggles in 2022, with drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing fifth and seventh respectively.

Hamilton, as the lead Mercedes, finished almost 40 seconds adrift of both Red Bull’s, while Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin and Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari also finished in front of the seven-time world champion.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Mercedes boss Wolff conceded it simply lacked pace compared to the front-running teams.

“Well one of the worst days in racing, really not good at all,” Wolff said.

“We were just lacking pace front, right and centre.

“That’s a reflection of the tests because the Aston Martin is very fast, they deserve that. Red Bull is just on a different planet.”

Mercedes was aware of its deficit to Red Bull after pre-season testing but the gap following the season opener was a bitter pill to swallow for the team.

Red Bull’s dominant one-two in Bahrain was difficult for Wolff to process, admitting it reminded him of the period of dominance Mercedes enjoyed through the V6 hybrid era.

“That is what hurts because they are so far ahead, it reminds me of our best years when we were pulled a second on everyone else,” Wolff added.

“That is the benchmark and we need to do one step after the other to come back and we can do that, absolutely we can.”

Mercedes’ next planned upgrade does not arrive until round six at Imola, which Wolff says the team cannot afford to wait for given the update is only worth an extra three tenths.

In light of its current plight, Wolff believes Mercedes needs something “more radical”, suggesting going a different route in car concept having chosen to stick with its ‘zero sidepod’ design from last year.

Hamilton opened up on his frustrations after asserting Mercedes had fallen further behind its rivals and was now the fourth-fastest team following Aston Martin’s big gains over the winter.

Asked if he was concerned by the minimal progress Mercedes had made since the end of last season, Hamilton said, as quoted by The Race: “Concerned wouldn’t be the word.

“I don’t really want to say too much, we’ve got to keep working, we know we’re not where we need to be and we know that this isn’t the right car, it’s a difficult one.

“I’ve just got to try and stay positive and keep pushing the guys, keep trying to be a positive light for them and get the best points I can.”