"As it (F1) is so visible people see pretty quickly if you succeed or not, and if the results are up to your expectations," Zetsche, at the Detroit Motor Show, told Autocar.
"For Mercedes those expectations must be that we are up there at every race competing for victory."
He said the fact Mercedes only won a single grand prix between 2010 and 2012 led to "changes" for this season, including a "new driver, new chairman and more to come".
"The real problem lay with the chassis and we are working on that," admitted Zetsche.
"The coming season will probably not allow us to show the full effect of the changes, but in 2014 we will have a good shot at the championship, especially with the new engine rules," he added.