Mark Webber has tipped Mercedes as a likely threat at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, but is hoping that his own record in the Principality can help put him ahead of the Silver Arrows.
The Australian is not the only one to feel that Mercedes' qualifying pace, if carried over from the past three races, could be enough to get Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton out in front at a circuit where overtaking is notoriously difficult. Fernando Alonso ended the Spanish GP weekend by tipping the Brackley outfit as the biggest threat to his own hopes of success, but Webber knows what it takes to win around the tricky street circuit, and is keen to add to his tally in order to close the gap on the top of the points table.
"It's always been a good track for me," the 36-year old, who sits sixth overall and 47 points behind Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, told Australia's AAP
, "I won there in F3000, and I've had my couple of wins in F1 [there].
"It probably goes back to my street racing experience in Formula Ford in Adelaide. I'm comfortable on street circuits. Monaco is still a daunting place, a very challenging venue, [and] I'm not saying you are on holiday there, but when I'm out there, I don't know what makes me feel as comfortable as I do."
A win for Webber will go some way to making up for the frustration of Malaysia, where he felt he had been denied victory by Vettel's decision to ignore team orders, and would provide a neat counterpoint to what many expect to be his last season in the top flight.
The Australian is part of a select group to have started 200+ grands prix – something of a distant dream as he struggled to raise the finance to keep climbing the single-seater ladder – but is now being tipped to walk away from the top flight and, perhaps, head back to sportscars with Porsche.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner remains non-committal on the chances of reuniting with Webber for one more season, and there is growing speculation that countryman Daniel Ricciardo is being lined up as a replacement for 2014.