Published: Sat, May 26, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Daniel Ricciardo: Monaco owes me, and I want that win

Daniel Ricciardo: Monaco owes me, and I want that win

The only thing most people know about Monaco is that it's a tax haven - a "sunny place for shady people", Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards once said - located somewhere on the French Riviera.

"If Bernie Ecclestone was still in charge of F1, he would have Sebastian and Lewis at Ferrari next year".

Rivals have been talking up the chances of Ricciardo and Dutch teammate Max Verstappen, who was second on Thursday's timesheets. In sunny conditions, the Australian driver finished a fraction ahead of Verstappen in both runs.

"I think women are the most lovely thing in the world", Hamilton told reporters Wednesday, after organizers confirmed TAG Heuer would continue its longstanding promotional arrangement with the race.

Ricciardo's contract situation with Red Bull has been the talk of the paddock all season long and what he will decide to do with his deal set to run out at the end of the year. It is not everything around here, but we seem to good in all conditions at the moment. 2017 Monaco victor Sebastian Vettel was third fastest but was over half a second shy of the Australian's lap record of a 1:11.841.

There is a third and final practice on Saturday (Saturday night NZT) ahead of qualifying.

"I'm pretty sure Lewis' priority lies with Mercedes and everything else would be a big surprise", Vettel said.

Female models will back on the grid at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, though they won't be holding placards displaying driver numbers.

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Ricciardo and Vettel were team-mates at Red Bull for one season back in 2014 with the former finishing higher in the drivers' standings.

The prospect of Hamilton and Vettel pairing up with the same team, and competing in equal machinery, is a tantalising one. "Hopefully with the shorter straights here and with this circuit layout, it offers us our best qualifying chance of the season".

Gaining pole position in Monaco is more crucial than most races because the track is notoriously hard to overtake on.

"I said the Red Bulls were going to be quick", Hamilton said. "The vehicle felt good in some places, in others it felt bad". There is particular scrutiny this week, given that it was here in Monte Carlo that Hamilton's previous three-year agreement was announced in 2015.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff responded to both the comments of Horner and Brown by reiterating what he stated weeks ago that there are no underlying issues delaying the process of Hamilton signing a new contract with Mercedes and that he and the team have simply not had the time to sit down and discuss it.

A red flag came out during the second session, briefly halting it as fix work was carried out on a drain cover near the famed Casino.

Verstappen, 20, was summoned to see the stewards after reversing onto the track in the opening session when he ran off at the first Sainte Devote corner, but they chose to take no further action.

Having locked up going into Turn 1, Verstappen headed off into the escape road.

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