Mercedes (8/1 Monaco GP – Race Winner – Team) boss Toto Wolff says he was encouraged by their revival in Spain last weekend but believes Monaco will still show there is a gap between them and both Red Bull (6/5) and Ferrari (10/11).
It has been a very tricky start to the campaign for the Silver Arrows with the team struggling for pace in the opening rounds.
A new raft of technical regulations came into force at the beginning of the season and the design of the Mercedes car had clear flaws – issues with “porpoising” have held both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell back.
However, at the Circuit de Catalunya last week, their performance was much-improved with both Hamilton and Russell qualifying in the top six.
Russell (16/1 Monaco GP race winner) went on to record a podium finish behind the two Red Bull drivers, whiles seven-time champion Hamilton (16/1) finished fifth, recovering from an opening-lap collision which saw him sustain a puncture.
It led to proclamations that they can still be a force in the title despite being well behind the leading two teams in Red Bull Ferrari.
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Yet Wolff has been keen to temper expectations going forward, particularly at Monaco where Mercedes have not enjoyed the best form recently.
They have won only one of the last four races and Wolff believes they still have work to do to be consistently at the front of the grid.
“We’ve seen another big step, probably we’ve halved the advantage to the front-runners,” Wolff said. “But still there’s lots of way to go in order to be in the fight.”
“Monaco in the past wasn’t our most happy place. I will be curious to see where we are this weekend. My expectations are lower than any other circuit.”
Max Verstappen (11/8 Monaco GP Race Winner) leads the championship heading into the world-famous street circuit with Charles Leclerc (11/10) looking to take the spoils at his home race for the first time.
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