The time is nearing for Mercedes to write off the 2010 season.

The time is nearing for Mercedes to write off the 2010 season.

That is the opinion of triple world champion and famous German-language pundit Niki Lauda, after watching both W01s fail to qualify in the top ten at Valencia.

The Brackley based team had taken a substantial upgrade package to the Spanish port city, but now look unlikely to score good points while Nico Rosberg trails the championship lead by 35 points.

"At some point, maybe in two or three races, one should say 'stop, let's get on and build a car for next year," Lauda said on German television Sky on Saturday.

Team boss Ross Brawn said after qualifying that Mercedes needs to "reflect, assess and see what our next steps should be".

But Mercedes' competition chief Norbert Haug said that does not mean the German team is giving up.

"We will certainly not give up on improving our package as we have done continuously since the season began but our competitors have been doing the same," he said.

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