Hamilton expects Mercedes resurgence in Monaco

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2013Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes will have a better weekend in Monaco following their poor performance in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Although he admitted there was no easy solution to Mercedes’ tyre degradation problems, Hamilton said he “definitely” expected a better performance this weekend.

“I think a huge amount of work has gone into understanding where we went wrong,” he added. “The guys have really kick-started a lot of different discussions.”

“Obviously it’s a real science trying to understand these tyres. Everyone’s trying to understand them but I really feel this weekend will be a better weekend for us compared to last and moving on from here I think we’ll just continue to learn and improve.”

However he stopped short of saying the race represented his best chance to win a grand prix so far this year: “We have a good opportunity this weekend but you never know what the others are capable of.”

“Last year [Mercedes] were quite competitive here, obviously our car is better this year so we should still be competitive this year. But the Ferraris and the Lotuses and Red Bull are massively competitive as well so we just have to wait and see.”

However he pointed out that the difficulty of overtaking would hand an advantage to whoever starts ahead: “I think if you just watch last year, it was very difficult to overtake.”

“I think it was Mark [Webber] won it last year and just controlled from the front even though he had a very competitive car. Overtaking is very difficult here as I proved a couple of years ago. So if you’re able to get up front it’s more than likely that if you’re able to manage your tyres you can stay there, definitely.”

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20 comments on Hamilton expects Mercedes resurgence in Monaco

  1. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 22nd May 2013, 16:03

    Overtaking in Monaco is not impossible, just difficult. Lewis should now this (schumacher 2011). Remember Alonso who started from the pits in 2010. You most defiantly can overtake in Monaco. All you need is the cojones to actually go ahead with it.

  2. Robbie (@robbie) said on 22nd May 2013, 17:48

    Unfortunately, unless they actually have figured out something that will help their tire wear, success at Monaco won’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. If they are only going to benefit because of the nature of this venue, then after Monaco we will continue to see them fall down the grid even after qualifying highly, so…bottom line…even a win won’t change what is turning out to be a distant 4th in the WCC this year for them. And…if Monaco will help them with their tire issue, so should it help others, so I’m not convinced high Merc placings on the grid will guarantee them high finishing spots, even there. They still may wear out their rears sooner than many others and find themselves vulnerable.

    • hobo (@hobo) said on 22nd May 2013, 19:40

      @robbie – I think the only possible benefit of this weekend for Mercedes (win or not) is that it provides more time for the engineers to work on solutions for the rest of the season. Monaco is a known entity, more or less, and that should allow less of a drain on the staff to worry about how to “figure out” Monaco.

      It is probably wishful thinking on my part, but I’d much rather see them in the fight, mixing up the top 5 more, than having them pull a Toyota (high qualifying, Trulli-train race) every other weekend.

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 22nd May 2013, 18:04

    Of course overtakiing is not impossible, even more now with the DRS in the start/ finish straight, and teh “natural” overtake after the tunnel. For the same reason I predict neither of the Mercedes will win; even on pole, they will go backwards again.

    • Slava (@slava) said on 22nd May 2013, 18:17

      I think win for them could still be possible only if they work as a team. I mean they will have to occupy first row, afterwards they need to make perfect start. Then that driver who is second will need to hinder back of the field. The first makes a substantial gap and eventually wins a race.

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 22nd May 2013, 18:50

        Somehow I doubt either Nico or Lewis would be thrilled to play the team game in such a fashion. For Nico, being used as a moving road block in Monaco would be particularly galling due to the team orders used against him in Malaysia. And I don’t think Lewis would do it either, he hasn’t had to play second fiddle to anyone since his first few races in 2007.

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 22nd May 2013, 18:35

    Tyre strategies may also come into play. If a team such as Lotus can stay out a few laps longer they can just end up in front of the other team as the race progresses. I don’t know if it’s possible to do fewer stops at Monaco but that could also be the deciding factor.

    Who are we kidding? A win at Monaco would be great for Mercedes – any GP win is a major goal and Monaco, Spa, and the German GP must be at the top of Mercedes’ list of GPs to win. I’m sure many of the chiefs at Mercedes would breathe a huge sigh of relief if they win at Monaco.

  5. diego.liv (@sun_diego) said on 22nd May 2013, 20:51

    Let’s assume Lotus would stay ot 2-3 more laps, everyone (most of all the instant-tyre-warmer Merc) can exit pit and push a couple laps (tyre won’t ruin so bad-fast here) and neither Lotus can pit and exit ahead of them

  6. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 22nd May 2013, 21:33

    What I found a little worrying is that Hamilton only says they are working on their tyre problems, not that they have any idea they found a solution (if indeed it exists, rather than being an inherent problem with the car).

    If Mercedes are one and two on the road on the first lap, they might get a decent result, even without any questionable tactics of holding up the rest of the field (more than they would by driving at their own pace). One of them might pit early to cover the undercut, the other can go a bit longer to maintain track position.

    If it’s a two-stop race, though, they will need some pretty strong race pace to end up on the podium. I think the best scenario for Mercedes would be a dry qualifying and a wet race, when their tyre usage might be an advantage rather than a hindrance.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 22nd May 2013, 22:13

      I get the impression these tires are not meant to be easily solved, and I think even the cars with less of an ‘inherent problem’ than Mercedes, have problems created for them by the tires, by design and by instruction from F1. ie. I don’t really expect any team to ‘solve’ these tires…just get a little happier on them. Of course, then there’s the changes to come, in which case some teams may get closer to a ‘solution.’

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd May 2013, 7:07

        I think your are right on that @robbie, one only has to look at others doing a better job to see its not the tyres that do not work at all, but Mercedes having gotten something wrong (but not as wrong as McLaren, Williams and Sauber too) that makes the car fast, but eat its tyres.

  7. Carl Craven said on 22nd May 2013, 22:24

    Resurgence from what. Each race has shown a predictable and increasingly degrading end result. Start well and fade. Infact, the more they qualify well the worse it seems they do in the race.

    And in the interim between the last race and the next how does Lewis think ‘lots of discussions’ are going to fix something that has been going on for 3 years. Did Lewis not actually look at what he was getting himself into?

  8. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 22nd May 2013, 22:53

    It represents their best chance for a win this season, for sure. But, as a Mercedes fan, I’m relaxed about where Mercedes are heading. I feel that 2013 is a transitional season for them; 2014 and beyond is where its really at. I have no doubt that Mercedes will win the championship within the next few seasons.

  9. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 22nd May 2013, 23:03

    You know what? I wouldn’t rule out Mark Webber this weekend. Twice in the last few years has he popped up at the top of the time sheets (granted, one was through Schumacher’s penalty) and it wasn’t totally expected either. He’s a guy who can put in a a hell of a lap around here when it counts, and he’s proven on two occasions he can hold the lead till the end. Remember the Red Bull has won the last 3 races here.

    • Ben (@scuderia29) said on 23rd May 2013, 0:35

      yeah webber is excellent around monaco, i just have this feeling that his heart isnt in f1 anymore…but if he goes out there and gives it 100% i think he can win this race, if i had to bet on anyone this weekend…it would be webber

  10. Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 23rd May 2013, 8:39

    Everyone is expecting Mercedes to claim pole position this weekend and then fight for the victory due to the characteristics of the Monaco track. I think it’s quite possible, but we should also remember that obviously Ferrari, Lotus and even Red Bull have found a better balance between qualifying and race setup on previous races. These teams know that qualifying is a lot more important in Monaco and they’re going to setup their car with qualifying in mind. And that’s why I doubt Mercedes is going to claim front row on Saturday as easily as in Barcelona

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