Daniel Ricciardo was fastest in the second practice session for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver was .6 of a second faster than Mercedes Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg was a further .3 behind the Australian.
Max Verstappen was fourth fastest behind the Mercedes. The Red Bull drivers put in a very good performance on track which proves there engine manufacturers Renault are beginning to make progress. The fastest times were set on the new ultra-soft tyres which are being used for the first time this weekend.
Riccardo told Sky Sports “Obviously we’ve got a good car around here as well. This track is certainly one where you can find a little bit more when you can push it on the limit. I’ve got some good confidence, which is the most important thing around here.”
The strong performance shows a remarkable up turn after last year they threatened to quit the sport.
Ferrari had a poor afternoon as Kimi Raikkonen could only managed seventh and Sebastian Vettel had his own problems. Vettel on one run spinning at Mirabeau hitting the barrier and damaging his rear wing but escaped damage free.
Another casualty of the notoriously tricky circuit was Rio Haryanto who crashed at the exit of the tunnel after losing control and hitting the barrier bouncing across from side to side before coming to a stop at the bottom of the hill.
It’s understood that despite substantial financial backing from the Indonesian government, Haryanto’s seat may be in jeopardy with American driver Alex Rossi waiting to replace him.
McLaren had quite afternoon which didn’t live up to their expectations when they claimed they could be just behind the Ferrari’s. Jenson Button was 10th, 1.7secs off the pace, and team-mate Fernando Alonso 0.4secs adrift in 11th but he didn’t set a representative lap on the fastest ‘ultra-soft’ tyre.