Daniel Ricciardo proved that Red Bull’s race-winning pace in Spain two weeks ago was no flash-in-the-pan by comfortably finishing fastest in the second practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday.
Ricciardo arrived in Monaco hopeful of emulating teammate Max Verstappen’s victory in Spain, armed with an updated Renault power unit for the weekend.
Fitted with the new ultra-soft tire that is debuting in Monaco, Ricciardo dominated proceedings to finish six-tenths of a second clear of the field in FP2.
A fastest lap of 1:14.607 was enough to give Ricciardo P1 at the checkered flag, firing a warning shot to Mercedes heading into the rest of the weekend.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had eased to a one-two finish in FP1 earlier in the day, but they were forced to settle for second and third in the afternoon.
Verstappen followed closely behind in fourth for Red Bull, while the Toro Rosso pair of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. impressed to finish fifth and sixth in FP2.
Kimi Raikkonen finished seventh in a difficult session for Ferrari that saw Sebastian Vettel hit the wall twice. The German driver escaped any serious damage, but could only finish ninth overall. Sergio Perez split the pair, while Jenson Button rounded out the top 10 for McLaren.
Much like FP1, the session was interrupted by a handful of on-track incidents. Romain Grosjean sustained damage to the front of his car after hitting the wall at the exit of the tunnel. Rio Haryanto also required repairs after a similar error, clattering the rear of his Manor into the barrier.
It proved to be a session to forget for Renault as both Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen hit trouble. Palmer missed the first hour of running due to an issue on his car, while Magnussen shunted his front-end at the final corner, prompting a Virtual Safety Car period.
Practice and qualifying in Monaco takes place on Saturday, with Friday being the traditional ‘off’ day.