Mercedes did not have a good weekend in Spain. The Spanish Grand Prix was no friend to the team as Lewis Hamilton was lapped and Nico Rosberg could only manage 8th after securing pole position but that’s something the Merc does have in its favor heading into Monaco in two week’s time.
Mercedes seemed to have opted for qualifying pace at the sacrifice of race pace, or so it would seem, but that may play right into their hands in Monaco according to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso:
“They will arrive as favourites for Monaco,” Alonso declared in the post-race press conference. “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. And it’s more difficult to overtake in Monaco, so maybe they can keep good positions for longer.”
It’s very difficult to pass in the streets of Monaco unless you don’t mind banging wings in the hairpin like Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes are quick over a qualifying lap and being on pole has historically been crucial in the south of France. There is, however, one issue that could plagued even a Mercedes on pole position…the Pirelli high degradation tires.
If Mercedes is struggling on the tires with serious degradation, undercutting in a pit stop may be their bane. It’s true, it is difficult to pass but a much quicker car in the hands of Kimi Raikkonen or Fernando Alonso could very well leap past the Mercedes during pit stops. What do you think? Does Mercedes stand to capitalize on qualifying pace in Monaco?