Every indicator during the opening day of practice for the Monaco Grand Prix points to Red Bull being the team to beat. The question is, can it buck the trend of recent times by carrying that form into qualifying?
Monaco is an unusual track - so unusual that Friday practice takes place on a Thursday. The caveats that always apply during the opening day of practice - those of run programmes, the track evolution to come, set-up improvements - are even more weighty here so Red Bull cannot afford to relax and assume Monaco glory will come its way. But it's looking good. Very good.
Daniel Ricciardo's fastest time in the afternoon session was a mammoth 0.572 seconds quicker than the next-best car - the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. When you consider Max Verstappen would have been three quarters of a tenth faster had he strung his three fastest sectors, this is hugely promising for Red Bull.