F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Practice
Sebastian Vettel & Daniel Ricciardo hope to challenge Mercedes in Monaco (Credit: Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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Red Bull Hopeful of Strong Weekend after Free Practice in Monaco

Both Red Bull Racing drivers believe that the Monaco Grand Prix gives them the best opportunity so far in 2014 to challenge the Mercedes drivers for pole position and the race win.   However both Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were disappointed that the rain arrived for the second practice session on Thursday to hinder their progress.

Ricciardo finished the morning session as best-of-the-rest in third behind the two Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, but only completed eleven laps in the afternoon due to the wet track and ended up ninth fastest.

“It was a shame we didn’t run so much this afternoon due to the conditions, but if it rains over the weekend then we’ll want to use the tyres, so there was a bit of waiting around,” said Ricciardo. “At the end the track still had a few damp patches, so we didn’t really learn that much this afternoon but I think the morning went well, so we’ve just got to try and get the set-up from that.

“The few laps I did this afternoon felt similar to the morning in terms of car balance and the things we need to work on, so I think the direction we’ve got to go is pretty clear. If we’re going to challenge the Mercedes then I think this is the place for it, they don’t seem to have one sector at the moment which is blowing everyone away, but obviously it’s still early days.”

Four-time World Drivers’ Champion Vettel was fifth in the morning session, just over half a second behind his team-mate, and ran fifteen laps in the wetter afternoon session to finish third behind pacesetters Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, and Hamilton.

“Obviously we’d love to run in the dry the whole time here, but of course if it’s wet it’s the same for everyone,” said Vettel. “Mercedes were very quick this morning and we see that usually, come Saturday, they are able to pick up their pace, so we’ll try to do the same. We potentially are a little bit closer here, but you know at the moment it’s all guessing.

“I think the big advantage on this track would be that there’s not that many straights, but we have to wait and see. We were obviously limited today on what we could learn in terms of pace and range, we know that it’s quite important to qualify in the front here so if there is a chance then we have to use it.”