Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says in hindsight there were things his team could have done different in the Malaysian GP, a race they lost to Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag at the Sepang circuit on Sunday, some eight seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
The Brit was left frustrated in the latter part of the race when he questioned Mercedes' decision to put him on yet another set of hard tyres.
But having ventured out in Q1 on a set of medium tyres, those hards were the only option available to Mercedes and their drivers.
"We've got a massive battle out there. It is a wake-up call for us," Wolff told the BBC.
"We've not made any mistakes for 20 races or more. Many things in hindsight we could have optimised. It doesn't matter now, it's a wake-up call for us.
"Well done to Ferrari. We saw on Friday they were very fast in the long runs."
Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda also took the opportunity to applaud Ferrari's performance on the afternoon.
He said: "What did I always say about Ferrari? Just wait. I was surprised by the pace of the Ferrari at the end but Vettel did an incredible job. They were unbeatable.
"They had the right pit stop strategy and Vettel's speed was outstanding."
Magnanimous in defeat, the Austrian concedes that even if Mercedes had opted for the same strategy as Ferrari, Vettel probably would have still won.
"We have to analyse whole thing," he said. "I don't think we could have won race even with the Ferrari strategy. The Ferrari car was quicker and better. We have to take our hat off to them."