F1: Lewis Hamilton fears tyre issues could trouble Mercedes in Canada

Nico Rosberg won in Monaco

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton fears Mercedes' performance in Monaco merely papered over the cracks of the team's tyre woes.

From a fourth consecutive pole, Mercedes finally made their position pay dividends around Monte Carlo as Nico Rosberg took the chequered flag for only the second time in his 134-race Formula One career.

But the slow-speed nature of the principality's streets played into Mercedes' hands as tyre wear was barely a factor, unlike the previous three races in China, Bahrain and Spain.

Pole at those venues proved to be no advantage for Mercedes. Instead, it simply slowed the inevitable slide through the field as the rubber on the cars of Hamilton and Rosberg degraded quicker than that of their rivals.

In Canada this weekend, Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is a high-speed track punctuated by slow corners, which means Pirelli's rubber faces another stern examination, particularly as far as Mercedes and Hamilton are concerned.

"Monaco is one of those tracks that doesn't really hurt the tyres very often," said Hamilton.

"With good management you can look after them, so I wouldn't really say we have made a step forward.

"The problems we had in Barcelona, we'll still have those going forward until we make some improvements."

Although Hamilton conceded after Monaco he needed to get his act together after watching Rosberg take pole at the last three races, the German's victory has at least raised morale within the team.

"There's a really good feeling in the team at the moment," added Hamilton.

"We're continuing to work hard to make sure we have the potential for more victories this season."

Question marks surround Mercedes following last month's tyre test in Barcelona in conjunction with Pirelli.

The Italian manufacturer has so far been adamant Mercedes were not privy to any data or information, nor would they have benefitted from the test.

Although work will naturally have taken place behind the scenes to improve race pace, all eyes will be on Mercedes this weekend to see if the Pirelli test has aided their cause.

Motorsport director Toto Wolff, like Hamilton, appreciates the result in Monaco may have been a one-off.

"We enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Monaco but, as I have said before, yesterday's home runs don't win tomorrow's games," said Wolff.

"Here in Montreal we have realistic expectations about what we can achieve.

"Our car has been on pole for the last four races, which shows our basic speed, so the focus in that time has been on improving our performance on Sunday afternoons.

"We managed this in Monaco, partly thanks to the unique characteristics of the circuit.

"This weekend will give us a more representative indication of how much progress we have made."