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Alonso: Merc favourites for Monaco

Monday 13-May-2013 10:31

Mercedes may have endured a nightmare race in Spain, but Fernando Alonso believes they will be the team to beat in Monaco.

The Brackley squad enjoyed a dream qualifying session with their third pole position on the trot as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton locked out the front row at the Circuit de Catalunya.

However, things went horribly wrong on race day as Rosberg slipped from pole to sixth while Hamilton finished down in 12th place and at one stage found himself battling a Williams for position.

Although the team are yet to get to the bottom of their race day woes, they are expected to do better at the Monaco Grand Prix as overtaking is notoriously difficult on the street circuit.

Spanish Grand Prix race winner Alonso has tipped them to do well in the Principality.

"They will arrive as favourites for Monaco," the Ferrari driver said. "They've been on pole position for the last three races, they were on pole last year with Michael's [Schumacher's] lap, so it would be a surprise if they weren't on pole position in Monaco.

"And as you said, it's more difficult to overtake in Monaco, so maybe they can keep good positions for longer. It's something we need to understand and we need to do a better job on Saturday, Felipe [Massa] and I, and Monaco is one of those places where we must do it."

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who finished second in Barcelona, echoed Alonso's comments about Mercedes.

"As Fernando said, I think Mercedes will unfortunately be pretty quick there and after that it's difficult to overtake," the Finn said. "The only difference that they have made against most of us is in the last sector where it's tight so you can really expect, from what they did last year and what they did here, that they should be pretty fast there."

Despite Mercedes' good qualifying record, Alonso is pretty upbeat about his chances in Monte Carlo.

"I'm confident for Monte Carlo. Looking at the last three years, even when we were not competitive in Monte Carlo, we always managed to be on the podium, more or less, in a consistent way so that's the aim for this year as well," he said

"In the three trouble free races we've had this year we finished second in Australia, we won in China and in Spain so what we want to do is put together four or five consistent races with no problems and try to get some podiums in our pocket and score some good points, and I think in Monaco we can continue this trend."

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