F1: Ricciardo impressive early on in Monaco race weekend

Daniel Ricciardo navigates the historic Monte Carlo GP street course in Monte-Carlo, Monaco on Thursday in his Red Bull Racing RB10 Renault. (Photo: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic)

Al Staley

Daniel Ricciardo was one of the stars of the first day of practice in Monaco as the Red Bull driver led the chase of the Mercedes duo in FP1.

Ricciardo, a two-time Monaco winner in Renault 3.5, was only ninth in the disjointed FP2 session. However in equal conditions in the morning he was only 0.235s off pacesetter Hamilton, and half a second faster than Sebastian Vettel.

"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 tires, so there was a bit of waiting around," he said. "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 setup from that.

Formula 1 Thursday practice results

"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 Merc’s 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."