Mercedes made a huge step forward at the Spanish Grand Prix after struggling to match the top teams in the first five races of the season. George Russell was able to challenge the Red Bull Racing cars during the race, while Lewis Hamilton made his way to fifth after dropping to 19th following an opening lap collision.

The Silver Arrows brought a raft of upgrades to Barcelona, and it seemed to have worked as expected. The Mercedes duo qualified fourth and sixth, and showed impressive race pace, which even saw Russell leading the race for a small period following the retirement of Charles Leclerc. It has to be pointed out however, that Verstappen's Red Bull suffered a DRS malfunction in Spain, aiding Russell in their battle.

However, despite the huge stride forward, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff feels his team will not be able to carry their momentum at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. The reigning Constructors' champions have struggled in the Principality in recent years winning just one of the last four races.

"Monaco in the past wasn't our most happy place," Wolff said, as quoted on Sky Sports. "Maybe because the car was the size of an elephant!"

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff is hoping for a clean title fight next weekend ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/POOL via AFP

"I will be curious to see where we are this weekend. My expectations are lower than any other circuit... it's going to be a learning point at least, to bring us back into the game."

Ferrari's Leclerc, who suffered a heartbreaking retirement from the lead at the Spanish Grand Prix also feels the battle at the front will be between Red Bull Racing and the Italian team. The Monaco-born driver, however, admitted that it will be wrong to leave Mercedes out of the debate owing to their recent stride forward.

"I think it will be more between Red Bull and Ferrari," Leclerc told La Gazette de Monaco. "At the moment Mercedes are still a bit behind even though they have made progress, but a team like this can never really be left out of the debate."

The Monaco race is expected to pose a new challenge for the drivers, especially with the new cars. There were complaints about a lack of visibility at the start of the season after new 18-inch tyres were introduced, and it could be a factor owing to the tight and twisty nature of the track.

Top two: Carlos Sainz, left, and Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc congratulate each other after qualifying in Miami Brendan Smialowski/AFP