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Mercedes eager to address key Monaco weakness ahead of Canada

Written by  Jun 01, 2018

Mercedes face a race against time to find solutions for their problems on the Hypersoft tyre during last weekend's Monaco GP ahead of the next race in Montreal.

Pirelli's softest ever compound made its debut on the streets of Monte Carlo and lived up to that title as it offered great grip, with Daniel Ricciardo setting the first ever 1m10 lap in qualifying, but wasn't particularly durable with Lewis Hamilton the earliest leader to pit after just 12 laps into the total of 78.

The pink-striped rubber will also feature at the Canadian GP in a week's time, where degradation could well be high again on the long straights of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Mercedes know a repeat of Monaco cannot be allowed to happen on a layout which should better suit their car.

"We’ve been doing a fair bit of work on [the Hypersoft] this week," director of trackside operations Andrew Shovlin said. "We saw other people up and down the field in a similar situation, but crucially for us the Red Bull looked stronger, and the Ferrari looked stronger.

"Now we’ve got some pretty good ideas of what went wrong, and we’re going to be doing a bit more work back here to fully understand that because we do need to get on top of that for Montreal.

"We’ve got the same tyres, you could have similar problems, and we need to make sure that we’re not exposed. In Montreal if you lose pace, and you’re suffering degradation, people will pass you very easily."

Of the top three teams, it is perhaps unsurprising to see Mercedes have been the most conservative with the tyre allocations for Canada with just five sets of the Hypersoft compared to eight for Ferrari and Red Bull.

Another regret the team has was failing to identify the performance of the Supersoft tyre earlier during the race in Monaco, as Valtteri Bottas enjoyed the best pace of the top five on that compound while Hamilton struggled with graining on the Ultrasoft.

"We had tried that tyre with Lewis on Thursday, and he’d found it a little bit difficult to generate the grip," Shovlin explained.

"It’s a harder tyre, it needs a bit more work to warm it up. The other thing is we expected the race leaders to go onto the Ultrasoft, so it made sense to have Lewis there on the same tyre.

"If we were running the race again we would have probably gone with the Supersoft with Lewis because it was durable, it was quick, and we saw that with Valtteri, who was having quite an easy time on that tyre to the end of the race."

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