Nico Rosberg and Mercedes believe that the German's fourth position in second free practice for the Indian Grand Prix is not a true reflection of the car's actual pace this weekend.
The team has failed to score a point since Nico Rosberg's fifth position in Singapore and has struggled to match the pace of rival frontrunners since impressing with its race speed at Monza last month.
And while Rosberg admits that the W03 is in better shape in Delhi than it was in Korea, he is not certain it is yet capable of challenging for fourth position on race day.
"We learned a lot in the two practice sessions today and found some good set-up directions, so it was a decent day," he said.
"Fourth place is not our realistic position at the moment but I am confident that we're looking a little better here than at the previous two races."
Mercedes boss Norbert Haug agreed: "It would be wrong to read too much into Nico's position in the second session but all in all this was a better Friday for us than we had during the last couple of races."
Ross Brawn reckons the team could be in better shape over the course of the weekend however, after a positive tyre programme on Friday.
"We've had a very solid day's work here today and completed our planned programme," said Brawn. "Our focus was on getting the car balanced which went pretty well over the two sessions.
"The tyres are very consistent here and, whilst there are still improvements to make to the car, we're looking in reasonable shape for the weekend."