Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has declared the Monaco Grand Prix to be a race that "puts the fire under your ass" as his team prepare for the latest F1 showdown with Red Bull.
Despite starting the season on the backfoot, Mercedes has managed to win three of the four races so far to lead its main title rival by 29 points in the constructors' standings.
Those three victories for Hamilton have also propelled the seven-time F1 champion into a 14-point lead over Max Verstappen, both of whom have made their best start to a campaign in terms of points scored.
"The first couple of races have provided us with both wheel-to-wheel and strategic battles for victory," enthused Wolff.
"Spain was far from a perfect weekend for us and there are lots of learnings to take forward.
"But nevertheless, to come back from a two-four on lap one and score a one-three was a very strong result and one we can be proud of as a team."
Wolff, though, is in no doubt Red Bull start the Monaco GP weekend as the favourite in light of the performance of the RB14B compared to the W12 in one notable section of Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.
Referencing Monaco, Wolff added: "There's really no race like it and it was hugely missed last year.
"It's such a unique, intense weekend for the drivers and the team, with no margin for error. It puts the fire under your ass, and we love the challenge.
"Monaco is a high downforce track and we know that's a key strength of Red Bull. They were very quick in sector three in Spain and that's often a good indication of strong performance in Monaco.
"So, we head into the weekend knowing they are the team to beat, whilst also knowing we'll face strong competition from some of the other teams, too. But, just like the season so far, we're enjoying the hunt."
Wolff has also highlighted one particularly poignant aspect of Monaco that will come to the fore this weekend as it will be the two-year anniversary on Thursday of the death of Niki Lauda.
"The last time we were racing in Monaco was shortly after Niki's passing," reflected Wolff. "So, he won't be far from our thoughts this year, either."
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