Lewis Hamilton: Red Bull will have 'car to beat' at F1 Monaco Grand Prix
F1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton says he is expecting Red Bull to be the team to beat in Monaco, despite entering the event off the back of successive wins.
Hamilton picked up the pieces in a chaotic event in Baku to triumph before dominating the following round at Barcelona, cruising clear of his rivals to triumph by 20 seconds.
But the Briton is wary that the next couple of races will pose different challenges for him and his Mercedes operation, and has adopted a cautious tone.
Hamilton – and Mercedes – struggled around the streets of the Principality 12 months ago, dropping out in Q2 before racing to seventh, as Ferrari scored an emphatic 1-2 finish.
Hamilton, though, reckons Mercedes faces a “seriously challenging” couple of races, and has tipped Red Bull to hold the cards in Monaco.
“Going into the next races I really don’t know [what will happen],” said Hamilton.
“I think [Spain] has been a good race in terms of feeling again compared to what I felt in the first race and it shows that it wasn’t a one-off.
“But there are a lot of challenging races coming up, Monaco is going to be a seriously challenging race as the others are going to be hard to beat.
“If you look at [Daniel] Ricciardo [in Spain] he was much quicker in the last sector and that sector is all downforce so he is going to be rapid, and they will be rapid and the car to beat.
“Montreal where it is hard to get temperature in the tyres. It is going to be multiple laps of driving to get heat into those tyres there.
“These different things that are coming up are going to be challenging and I don’t think it will be as clear as it was [in Spain] at every single race.”
Hamilton has twice triumphed in Monaco in 2008 and 2016 – both races having taken place in wet/dry conditions.