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Mercedes putting 'a huge amount of work' in to tyre issues - Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is putting "a huge amount of work" in to understanding its tyre issues ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Having locked out the front row in Barcelona, the two Mercedes cars dropped to sixth and 12th by the end of the Spanish Grand Prix. Hamilton missed out on scoring points altogether, but having had time to try to work out the problems that Mercedes has been suffering he is confident there will not be a repeat performance.
"It's definitely not easily solved," Hamilton said. "It's something that we're working on internally, just working as hard as we can to assess and understand where we went wrong; tyre pressures, temperatures and all those kind of things. I don't think it's going to be as bad - hopefully - moving forward. It's definitely something we're trying to improve on so hopefully we won't have as many bad races as we did the last one.
"A huge amount of work has gone in to understanding where we went wrong. The guys have really kickstarted a lot of different discussions. Obviously it's a real science trying to understand these tyres - everyone's trying to understand them - but I really feel that this weekend will be a better weekend for us compared to the last and moving on from here I think we'll just continue to learn and improve."
With Mercedes' one lap pace making it a favourite for pole position in Monaco, Hamilton was keen to play down it being its best chance of victory but admitted he would have a better chance of holding on to a position at the front of the field.
"Not particularly, I think we have a good opportunity this weekend but you never know what the others are capable of. Last year Mercedes was quite competitive here, obviously our car is better this year so we should still be competitive this year but the Ferraris and the Lotus' and the Red Bulls are massively competitive as well so we'll just have to wait and see.
"I think just watching last year it's very difficult to overtake. Mark [Webber] won last year and just controlled from the front even though he had a very competitive car. Overtaking is very, very difficult here - as I proved a couple of years ago - so if you're able to get up front then it's more than likely if you're able to manage your tyres you can stay there, definitely."