With Mercedes having once again locked out the front row, their strategy for today's Monaco Grand Prix has been at the centre of speculation.
With the team having struggled with tyre wear throughout the season there has been a train of thought that a 'rear gunner' strategy could be used, with either Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton being protected by their team-mate to allow the race leader to open a commanding lead at the front of the field – depending on who is running at the head of the field.
Speaking to reporters, including Crash.net
, team boss Ross Brawn dismissed any such speculation:
"Obviously the tortoise and hare strategy is one that people will speculate about but I don't think that either of our drivers are tortoises," he said. "We'll let the race run and see what develops. Obviously our ambition is a one two but it is impossible to speculate on how we can achieve that."
Improving their tyre management has been a key emphasis for Mercedes following their disappointing Spanish grand Prix, where both drivers struggled with badly worn tyres, and Brawn went on to comment about the challenges facing his team.
"The tyres have certain characteristics," said the Englishman. "If you do not exceed the capacity of the tyre, either through the driver or the car, you can get a lot more life out of the tyre. It's non-linear so if you go five percent over the limit you can half the life of the tyre.
"So you don't need to improve by a huge margin to get the tyre back into a good area. We've been in a good place a few times this year and we've been in a bad place a few times. It's impossible to know what to expect on Sunday."
by Stephen English