Ross Brawn has admitted Mercedes took a wrong turn by focusing too hard on its 'double DRS' innovation this year.
As the German team slumps ahead of Lewis Hamilton's arrival in 2013, boss Brawn told Italy's Autosprint that he has some regrets about the development direction of the 2012 single seater.
"Today there is a lot of, let's say, smart technology around the front wings. But we had our system, and our wings were designed around this concept.
"When it became clear from what others were doing what the potential was of another philosophy, maybe we should have taken a step back."
Brawn hinted that Mercedes' 'double DRS' meant the team was not able to explore some of the latest trends, like flexible or bendy noses and wings.
"As you say, there are some 'structural' considerations that we have seen this year," he said, "but this will disappear next year -- or should disappear."