Red Bull believes it could fend off rivals' Q3 engine modes in Monaco

Red Bull Formula 1 team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen believe their car advantage around Monaco could be enough to fight off rivals' top engine modes in qualifying

Red Bull believes it could fend off rivals' Q3 engine modes in Monaco

The duo finished 1-2 in both practice sessions in Monte Carlo on Thursday, with Ricciardo more than half a second clear of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the quicker afternoon session.

Although both drivers are well aware that Ferrari and Mercedes are able to extract a lot more pace from their special engine modes in qualifying, they think there is a chance they can still hold on at the front.

Ricciardo said: "Our gap from practice to qualifying isn't normally as big as what Ferrari and Mercedes can find.

"In quali they'll definitely close that gap. I still feel if we can put together a really good lap we have a very good chance. That's my job on Saturday."

Verstappen added: "They will come close to us in qualifying, with the engine modes. But I'm sure we can do better.

"It's pretty good. I didn't really have a lot of problems, that of course helps a lot on a street circuit.

"The car even comparing to last year has been a massive step forwards in terms of how I feel. It always helps."

Ricciardo's best of 1m11.841s was the fastest time ever set around the Monaco street circuit, with a track resurfacing, car improvements and the hypersoft Pirelli tyre contributing to the speed step.

With the weekend timetable meaning F1 track action does not resume until Saturday, Ricciardo said he hoped Red Bull's strong pace would leave rivals facing extra anguish over what they have to do to close the gap.

"We want everyone to sleep an extra night," he said. "I definitely expect all three big teams on Saturda to be below 1m12s.

"I feel we set as much of a benchmark as we could today, and it's nice to start with these intentions.

"The intention this weekend was to try and win, to try and be dominant. Today's good, it's a good start - we topped the session.

"I'm sure Ferrari, Mercedes will start to put some more pressure on us, but today we did what we could, so I'm happy."

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Monaco Grand Prix practice: Daniel Ricciardo leads Red Bull one-two

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Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Erwin Jaeggi
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