Mercedes hopeful ahead of Monaco race

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Brackley-based Mercedes hope that their pace in qualifying will put drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in a position to challenge at this Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The Silver Arrows have shown a great speed during qualifying for recent Grands Prix races, but they have struggled to stay in contention due to the fact that they have been unable to manage the degradation of the current Pirelli tyres.

Mercedes have found that their cars have been very heavy on tyre wear and, as a result, multiple pit stops have been required for new tyres to keep the cars in contention.

In the lead up to this weekend’s race around the streets of Monte Carlo, Lewis Hamilton said: “It is very frustrating when we have such bad wear on our tyres.

“The car in qualifying is good and over a short distance we can maintain our position but once we have long runs the tyres just go away from us.

“Our hope for Monaco success depends totally on our performance in qualifying. Grid position at this race is so very important.”

Monaco is very much the jewel in the crown of the Grand Prix season, with its glamour-filled paddock and packed grandstands adding to the excitement.

The race, however, is notoriously hard on the competing cars, and with overtaking opportunities at a premium, a position high on the starting grid can make or break a driver’s weekend.

Rosberg said: “If you are at the front of the grid and make a good start you can keep out of the trouble that always happens at the first corner and just concentrate on escaping down the road.

“A clear track ahead of you in Monaco is so important. If you become stuck in traffic, and your tyres are causing problems, then the whole race is a lottery.”

The Silverstone-based Sahara Force India team are also looking to add to their seasonal points tally in Monaco.

Driver Paul di Resta, a resident of Monaco, said: “I am looking forward to racing in my home event – I will be able to walk to the office from my apartment and that will make a nice change.”