Daniel Ricciardo sets new lap record at Monaco F1 Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo Spanish GP 2018

Daniel Ricciardo Spanish GP 2018

While Daniel Ricciardo completed a practice double to cement Red Bull's tag as the pre-race favourites, Hamilton, who holds a 17-point championship lead, could manage only fourth as he finished more than half-a-second off the pace.

Horner weighed into the topic in mischievous fashion during the Friday press conference in Monaco, where he sat alongside Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. We weren't good enough last year for sure, but in previous years we have been.

Asked if the delay suggested that Hamilton is still available, Horner replied: "I can only imagine that a delay can only involve money".

Hamilton's Mercedes team arrived at the principality fearing they would be playing catch-up to both Ferrari and Red Bull - and so it proved in practice on Thursday.

"The speed, sometimes I'm running round or driving round this city in the offseason, and it's hard to believe the speeds that we do up the hill and to turn 1, out of the tunnel", said Hamilton. It brings the good and bad out of you, it pushes you to the limit. "Hopefully that will be enough".

Red Bull is the industry leader in aerodynamics, and boss Christian Horner said: "The auto was very fast in the third sector at Barcelona, which is a good indication of what we can do in Monaco". "If Bernie Ecclestone was still in charge of F1, he would have Sebastian and Lewis at Ferrari next year. If it's not ready this week, or the week after, I'm not going to stress about it". The Australian said he was enjoying the break from hotels and airports and being able to sleep in his own bed for a change.

The Red Bull driver added: "Confidence is a big thing here". You should probably ask Maurizio (Arrivabene).

Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting allowed the device in Spain but cautioned that he did not expect Ferrari to keep the same approach in Monaco, quipping "if we do we're probably going to see the stewards about it". "That's why l say there are no guarantees we will be quickest".

McLaren's Fernando Alonso, who missed last year's race to compete in the Indianapolis 500 instead, had a hard opening session with his auto suffering problems with its brake-by-wire system.

Ricciardo was third in Monaco a year ago, after taking pole and finishing second in 2016, and is aiming to take the final step on Sunday. Not, however, that Ricciardo will be leaving the paddock early after the close of play every night this weekend.

"I've done some things differently, but in a way it's kind of been better for me at the track and I've put more energy into the racing and less elsewhere", he added. "The chefs here are better chefs than l am".

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