Merc ‘bloody’ tense amid Red Bull threat
MERCEDES have admitted they are "bloody worried" about their anticipated competitiveness against Red Bull and Ferrari in this weekend's Monaco GP.
Although the world champions bounced back to form with their first 1-2 of the season at the Spanish GP, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas face an altogether different type of challenge in Monaco.
The twists and turns of F1's most famous circuit are not expected to favour the Silver Arrows and Mercedes were soundly beaten a year ago in Monte Carlo when Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel triumphed ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.
"Bloody worried," said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff when asked to preview the race.
"We have seen in the last years that there were some tracks which suited us well and some we were not perfect for.
"It's very difficult to undo the DNA of a car and Monaco, Singapore and Budapest were all tracks where we underperformed a lot last year.
"It's a great challenge. Why our car doesn't like to be quick around the corners of Monaco, we haven't found out yet."
Hamilton has claimed back-to-back victories to surge 17 points clear in the drivers' championship but knows he faces an uphill battle in his quest to make it a hat-trick of wins on Sunday.
"Monaco is going to be a serious challenge," Hamilton said.
"Red Bull are going to be rapid and very hard to beat.
"The Red Bulls are particularly good and able to add more downforce, I think the Ferraris have a little bit more downforce as well so it will be really interesting to see if we can match them
"We know it's probably going to be a difficult weekend. We know the others could be quicker than us. Whatever we are faced with, we'll take it.
"As we've seen this year, sometimes you can get great points in races you don't win. We'll be focused on getting the maximum regardless of whether we are fastest or not."
Hamilton said he expected to "sleep like a baby" after a sumptuous performance in Barcelona, basking in the satisfaction of a faultless display having lucked into victory in Azerbaijan.
"It's the greatest feeling to have that kind of performance," he said.
"To win convincingly … anyone who has a win wants to do it that way. Not every win feels as great as that one."