Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Bottas anxious about Mercedes' prospects for Monaco

Bottas anxious about Mercedes' prospects for Monaco

The F1 bandwagon will roll into Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix on 27 May.

"Of course we do not want to lose him, but I also believe that he doesn't want to go somewhere else".

Despite feeling unwell in the morning with an upset stomach, Giovinazzi notched up 148 laps by the end of the day - the most of any driver taking part in Wednesday's test.

But Hamilton was back on the track at the Circuit de Catalunya in the first of a two-day in-season test yesterday.

Pressure had been building on the Silver Arrows following a tricky start to the season - a miscalculation by the team cost Hamilton dear in Australia and he had to settle for third and fourth-place finishes in Bahrain and China respectively. The teams for the change, including Ferrari and Mercedes, feel that the research that's been done by the new technical team at F1 headed by Ross Brawn justifies the modifications.

'I'm bloody anxious, ' Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said. The trouble we have now is that with the modern cars carrying so much downforce, Turn 1 isn't a long braking zone and the only decent braking zone into Turn 10 comes after two corners where it's very hard to follow the auto in front. Wolff indicated earlier that they will look for options within the Mercedes family rather than look at someone like Daniel Ricciardo, who is out of contract with Red Bull. The supersoft tyre wasn't delivering the grip and peak performance they expected and, in fact, the Ferrari drivers ended up qualifying on the soft tyre even in Q3.

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Despite their lack of pace in Spain, where not only were they not able to extract the same speed from their tyres as Mercedes but were also unable to coax them to last as long as the silver cars, the Italian team have had the most versatile vehicle so far this season.

Vettel gave away his position when Ferrari chose to go for an extra stop and give the German driver fresher tyres.

The team attempted to jump the Ferrari during the first round of pit stops, but that didn't work either.

Although the fast, sweeping Barcelona layout bears little resemblance to the narrow confines of Monaco's streets, the Circuit de Catalunya's final sector does present a chance for teams to get a read on their respective car's slow-speed performance.

"I'm looking forward to Monaco; hopefully we can take some of the things we've learned onto there".

Just before Raikkonen exited the race, a television commentator remarked on how extraordinary it was to see the young (and easily provoked) Max Verstappen not make a single error all weekend. "I think it was the right thing to do". It's the jewel in F1's crown, and Ferrari versus Mercedes versus Red Bull should be well and truly on. Kimi Raikkonen took pole a year ago.

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