F1 digest: Mercedes are not favourites for the Monaco GP says Toto Wolff
Ferrari face a pivotal weekend and should be worried by a ‘resurgent’ Mercedes
Wolff: Ferrari and Red Bull are favourites in Monaco
The Formula 1 title race gets into top gear this weekend when Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull go head-to-head on the streets of Monaco.
After winning the two previous races in Azerbaijan and Spain, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton goes to Monaco with a 17-point lead in the F1 championship ahead of his nearest rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
Despite world champion Hamilton’s lead at the top of the standings, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff feels that his team are not favourites going into the sixth Grand Prix of the 2018 season.
Last year in Monaco Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen secured a one-two for Ferrari. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finished third and fifth while Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton were fourth and seventh respectively.
Wolff expects Mercedes’s title rivals will again be strong in Sunday’s race. He told the BBC: “We don’t head to Monaco as favourites. They’re Red Bull and Ferrari. Red Bull are strong in slow corners and where straight-line speed is less important. Our job is to maximise the car’s potential, whatever that may be.”
A must-win in Monaco for Ferrari
Ferrari will be looking to bounce back from recent setbacks and Monaco could be a pivotal weekend for the Italian team, says Sky Sports.
Sebastian Vettel has failed to get on the podium in the past three races after he opened the season with victories in Australia and Bahrain. Because of the last three race results, Sky F1 analyst Anthony Davidson believes Monaco is a must-win for Ferrari.
He said: “Ferrari need to win that one, as Mercedes needed to win Spain. Barcelona is a Mercedes track, they got the job done. Ferrari are now going to Monaco and they need to get the job done there to keep their championship hopes alive.”
The Daily Telegraph’s Luke Slater says that Ferrari “should be worried by a resurgent Mercedes” after Hamilton’s victory at the Spanish Grand Prix. Slater wrote: “What will concern Ferrari is that they – and in particular Vettel – have failed to capitalise on their pace advantage whilst Mercedes have been struggling.
“The manner of these errors will also concern them. Ferrari and Vettel could be leading both championships. They aren’t and they will now wonder – and worry – whether Mercedes have returned to top spot for good.”
Latifi buys 10% stake in McLaren
Canadian businessman Michael Latifi has bought a 10% stake in the McLaren Group. Reuters says the investment is worth £203m.
He said: “I have been an admirer of the McLaren brand and its businesses for some time. McLaren is a unique organisation in automotive, racing and technology with exciting long-term growth prospects, which is why I have made this investment.”
Latifi’s son Nicholas is Force India’s reserve driver and also races in Formula 2.
Could Berlin host the German GP?
Sky Sports reports that F1 chairman Chase Carey has “expressed an interest” in Berlin hosting a German Grand Prix street race. Quoted by German newspaper Bild, Carey said: “We are open for a road race through Berlin. If the Berliners want that, we can talk with them.”