World champion Sebastian Vettel said he believes that Mercedes are the favourites heading into the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
Barcelona winner Fernando Alonso was the first to tip the German team for a win in the Principality, despite Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton having struggled so much with Pirelli tyre wear at recent races.
“I can understand why people are saying Mercedes is the favourite,” German Vettel told Brazil’s Totalrace in Monaco on Wednesday.
“They have had a great speed in qualifying in the last few races, and we all know that it’s so important to qualify up the front in Monaco.
“But it’s difficult to know if the tyres will be as important here. The question is will they last.
“Perhaps pole won’t be everything, but overtaking here is very difficult,” the Red Bull driver added.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, however, thinks that even if Mercedes does run into tyre trouble in Monaco, Hamilton or Rosberg might still be able to win.
“I believe they will suffer in the race,” said the Brazilian, “because they suffer in all the races.
“But even if you do suffer here, you can hold your position,” added Massa. “This could be the best track for them.”