Mercedes is confident that it is on top of the tires for the Monaco Grand Prix, despite the big degradation problems it suffered in last year's race.
With Nico Rosberg starting on the front row, and Michael Schumacher the quickest car in qualifying, the W03 appears to be well-suited to the tight Monaco track. However, with memories of last year – where both drivers suffered big tire degradation in the race – still fresh in the team's mind, Mercedes feels it is better prepared heading into Sunday afternoon's event.
Rosberg said: "We have definitely prepared well for the race, and made several setup things to be in better shape and take care of the tires better than we did last year. That is why I feel much more comfortable approaching the race."
Schumacher added: "We have seen our car this year and we had some up and downs in the early part of the year until we understood how to deal with the circumstances. But now we know what is required here so it should be good."
Team principal Ross Brawn said he was optimistic the team understood the tire situation far better than it did 12 months ago.
"There are no guarantees for sure and the whole team are aware of the possibility," he said of the potential for tire issues. "We have improved some of the technology we use to try and judge where we are with the tires during the race, and the drivers are far more aware of it.
"We will drive the race pace, and the pace of our cars in the race will be what we feel the tires can handle. Whether it is quick enough we will wait and see, but we don't want the situation we had last year where, after six or eight laps, we had destroyed the rear tires.
"We are much better at managing it, but whether we are good enough we will find out [on Sunday]. But we are in a better position than we were last year."