Wolff and Hamilton were caught having a heated discussion on the Friday after the team’s double elimination from Q2 inside the Mercedes garage.
Russell was the best-placed Mercedes driver in P11 while Hamilton ended up a distant 13th having struggled to match his team-mate across the weekend.
Following Imola, the team says it is still hopeful that it can get to the bottom of its troubles and find a fix for the porpoising issue that has blighted the team so far in 2022.
“The reality is we can’t run the car where we designed it to be run, we’re having to run higher ride heights. And by running higher ride heights, it’s got less performance.
“We can’t sustain this level of these results if we don’t improve the pace of the car”
“Now, that might be true for almost every car on the grid. Lots of people are suffering with this problem. And we know that lifting the car is a way of alleviating it.
“A lot of the work that’s been going on in Brackley has been to understand the phenomenon and whether we can actually control it and whether we can engineer it out of the car. And when Toto talks about finding the key what he’s really talking about is is there an aerodynamic solution that we can apply to the car that will make this problem go away?”
Mercedes has so far been forced to run its W13 with a higher ride height than it was designed to run at. By doing so, it has lost a great deal of aerodynamic performance in order to limit the porpoising effect.
Russell was very critical of the situation, saying that he was suffering from back and chest pain as a result of the violent bouncing down the straights.
While he managed to end the race in fourth position, Russell voiced his concerns over the safety of drivers for the remainder of the season if the problem persisted.
“The bouncing, it really takes your breath away. It’s the most extreme I’ve ever felt it,” Russell said post-race.
“I really hope we find a solution and I hope every team struggling with the bouncing finds a solution, because it’s not sustainable for the drivers to continue. This is the first weekend I’ve truly been struggling with my back, and almost like chest pains from the severity of the bouncing.
“As I said before this weekend, we can’t sustain this level of these results if we don’t improve the pace of the car.”
The reigning world champion finds itself mired in the midfield by the porpoisnig phenomenon while rivals in Red Bull and Ferrari are set to fight for the title, and already enjoy a sizeable advantage in the constructors’ standings.
For Hamilton and Russell, they’ve experienced differing fortunes with the new arrival largely overshadowing his seven-times champion team-mate, but neither is looking set to fight for wins in the short-to-medium term future.
So how does it turn it around?
Development of the ‘no sidepod’ concept has been paused as the team strives to get on top of the bouncing issues, but a new package is set to arrive in Miami or Barcelona.
Whether or not those upgrades produce desirable results could determine whether Mercedes continues to develop its ’22 car, or give up on the season and switch focus to next year.