Monaco Grand Prix - Mercedes fears Monaco advantage lost

The Mercedes Formula 1 team fears that one of the biggest advantages it had at the Monaco Grand Prix may be wiped out because its 2014 car is so good.

Formula 1 - Mercedes may meet their match in Monaco

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Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - Grand Prix of Spain 2014

In 2012, Michael Schumacher was fastest in qualifying for Mercedes before being moved down the grid because of a grid penalty he picked up at the Spanish Grand Prix, while last year Nico Rosberg won the race from pole position.

Although such results would appear to be grounds for Mercedes optimism, its motorsport boss Toto Wolff is much more cautious, as the team's form in Monaco over the past two years was flattered by its struggles with overheating tyres.

This characteristic actually had the positive effect in Monaco of getting the drivers' rubber in to the perfect operating window for qualifying.

"In the past on a low grip circuit like Monaco we have been able to keep the tyres alive easily," explained Wolff. "[But over-working the tyres] is not a problem anymore."

The issue with degradation did not prove too troublesome in last year's Monaco race because the lack of overtaking opportunities meant Rosberg was able to manage his pace by holding up his pursuers.

Mercedes has made big progress in tyre understanding since last year which, while meaning it is better in races, could have taken away its single-lap edge in Monaco.

Despite the tyre factor, Wolff says his outfit is not more wary about Monaco than any other event.

"I guess the power unit is not so important, and Monaco is always different," he said.

"There is clearly a team that has an advantage at the moment, and on a street circuit like Monaco everything can be different.

"But then again we won there last year. It was the first rise for us, and we'd like to do it again."

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