McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has said he feels Lewis Hamilton would be a deserving winner of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.
Despite starting on the front row of the grid three times this season, Hamilton has failed to secure a victory in 2012 with a series of problems hitting his chances of a race win – most recently in Spain where a lack of fuel in his car forced him to stop on his in-lap at the end of qualifying; a move which saw him stripped of pole and dropped to the rear of the field.
Hamilton heads to Monaco sitting third in the championship and could become the sixth winner in as many races this season if he was able to win in the principality for the second time; with Whitmarsh talking up his chances ahead of the weekend.
"I think he is, and he thinks that,” he told the Press Association
when asked if Hamilton was a good bet for victory. "He is in that frame of mind, and he deserves it. No doubt about it. We have to work hard to make sure he has a good car, that we don't make any mistakes and he is in a position to fulfil his potential at a circuit where he would like to win again.
"We go into Monaco, somewhere where we've been very strong, we've won more grands prix there than anyone else, and we go there with the belief we can win. But anyone who makes predictions at the moment in this sport would be nuts. It is virtually impossible. Five races in we've had five different winners, five different constructors.
"After Monaco it could be six races, six different winners, but I hope not six different constructors. I hope we can take that one, but we will see."
In order to try and win in Monaco, Hamilton will have to master using the Pirelli supersoft tyre for the first time this season and Whitmarsh admitted that the performance of the tyres this season was giving teams a headache.
"With these tyres people get frustrated with them, they're difficult, challenging, as we've suffered and been frustrated with them, but they are contributing to an extraordinary season,” he said. "In trying to understand them there's no magic. You have to work hard, look at the data, study it, try to effect and control, and deliver what you want to make sure you get the best out of them. We've some views and ideas, but as every race goes by perhaps we are left with a few more questions than we had at the beginning of the weekend.
"We're learning something, but I don't think there is anyone here who convinces me they understand these tyres, and knows how to confidently and comfortably exploit them on a regular basis. It's become an incredible feature of this championship, and inadvertently or otherwise, is creating the extraordinary season we are seeing."