Lewis Hamilton is already expecting a “difficult weekend” for Mercedes in Monaco and predicts both Ferrari and Red Bull to potentially be the quicker teams so is focusing on maximising any potential points haul.

After back-to-back wins in Azerbaijan and Spain, the Mercedes driver holds a 17-point advantage over Sebastian Vettel at the top of the Formula 1 world drivers’ standings but is bracing for a tough challenge trying to secure a hat-trick of wins this weekend in Monaco.

Despite the Mercedes domination in the V6 hybrid era, while taking four wins in the past five years in Monaco, the German manufacturer’s biggest weaknesses have been exposed on city street tracks and last year Ferrari stormed to a 1-2 in qualifying and the race.

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As a result, Hamilton and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff were wary of the upcoming race during its celebrations in Spain after producing a flawless 1-2 result at Circuit de Catalunya.

“We need to stay calm and humble, because it can be a different ball game again next time round,” Wolff said. “We will savour the result but our thoughts are already turning to Monaco, to the struggles we had there last year and to how we can make sure not to suffer a repeat.”

In Spain Hamilton freely predicted the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull having a faster car compared to Mercedes in Monaco and is preparing to accept a result to protect his F1 world championship lead.

“We know it is probably going to be a difficult weekend and the others could be quicker than us potentially but we might be surprised or we might not be,” Hamilton said. “What we do is prepare ourselves the best we can and arrive, take it how we are faced with whatever we are faced with. We’ll take it.

“This year we can still get great points in races that we don’t win and it is a long way to go still so we will be focused on getting the maximum from the weekend regardless of whether we are fastest or not.”

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