May 13 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Mercedes has been tipped as a likely favourite to win the fabled Monaco grand prix later this month.
Having dominated qualifying in Spain, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton fell spectacularly backwards through the field in the race as the W04 chew mercilessly through Pirelli’s tyres.
Toto Wolff, the team’s co-owner and director, said the extreme reversal of Saturday’s fortunes caused himself and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche “almost physical pain”.
But it could all be different in Monaco.
“I think Mercedes has a good chance to win in Monte Carlo,” said Swiss commentator and former driver Marc Surer.
“Whoever starts at the front in the principality also has a good chance for victory,” he is quoted by Speed Week.
“And the degradation of the rear tyres will not be such a big issue there.”
Asked if predictions like Surer’s are right, Barcelona winner Fernando Alonso said: “Yes, definitely.
“They’ve been on pole position for the last three races, they were on pole last year with Michael (Schumacher), so it would be a surprise if they weren’t on pole position in Monaco,” said the Ferrari driver.
“And it’s more difficult to overtake in Monaco, so maybe they can keep good positions for longer.”
Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen also agreed: “I think Mercedes will unfortunately be pretty quick there and after that it’s difficult to overtake.
“So you can really expect, from what they did last year and what they did here, that they should be pretty fast there,” the Finn added in Barcelona.
Mercedes’ Rosberg told DPA news agency: “In qualifying we are very good, so it’s very likely that we’ll be close to the front (in Monaco) and hopefully I can keep the train behind me.”