Mercedes could not build on their strong form heading into Monaco GP, finding themselves back in the midfield scrap and well behind Red Bull and Ferrari's pace.
Monaco has always proven a challenging track for Mercedes, even in their dominant years, so perhaps it is of little surprise that they struggled for performance.
Toto Wolff (as quoted by AMuS) was very candid about the team's position post-race:
"We are the third fastest team. If nothing happens up front, fifth place is the best possible result. Of course, it's nice when you dust off a podium.
But we don't want to be given anything for free. We want to do it on our own ride in front.
The gap to Ferrari and Red Bull has remained the same. If you look at it optimistically, we're missing five tenths. If you look at it pessimistically, we're eight tenths behind. That's not acceptable."
While George Russell continued his impressive run of top 5 finishes at Monaco, keeping within touching distance of the leaders in the standings, it seems increasingly unlikely Mercedes will challenge for the championship.
This was the reasonable conclusion after the first few rounds, but the recent dominance of the Silver Arrows made both fans and pundits hesitant to write Mercedes off.
With seven rounds gone, however, and Mercedes unable to consistently challenge the leaders, the team will likely prioritise medium and long-term progress instead of committing to damage limitation for the rest of the year.