Red Bull Racing looks to be in ominous form after Daniel Ricciardo completed a clean sweep of both Thursday practice sessions for the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

After setting the pace in the day’s opening practice session, the Australian was once again in fine touch around the 3.337-kilometre street circuit, breaking its unofficial lap record.

He and teammate Max Verstappen were the pacesetters throughout the session, with the Dutch youngster – who escaped sanction from the FIA Stewards for reversing back onto the circuit after trip off-track in FP1 – moving to the top of the timesheets in the opening twenty minutes with a 1:12.468 on the Hypersoft Pirelli tyres.

He worked down towards a 1:12.071 effort on the same tyre set and was on course to go even quicker then the session was red-flagged at the 25-minute mark.

The culprit was a loose drain cover on the short straight between Casino Square and Mirabeau, which was quickly welded back in place under the watchful eye of FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting.

Fifteen minutes after its stoppage, the pit lane was opened once more. Despite battles with traffic, Verstappen further improved to a 1:12.035 on a fresh set of tyres, but his run was brought to a premature end when he pitted to check for front wing damage after clipping the rear of Romain Grosjean’s Haas at the hairpin.

Ricciardo had his own battles with traffic and performed his qualifying-style run much later than most. He broke through the 1m12s barrier, clocking a 1:11.841 with a little over 20 minutes remaining to move to the top of the timing screens.

With another Red Bull Racing 1-2 result, Sebastian Vettel finished the day third-quickest but almost four-tenths of a second off Ricciardo’s ultimate pace. The German and Ferrari teammate Kimi Räikkönen sandwiched Lewis Hamilton in fourth place, with all three covered by barely 0.1 seconds.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was next up in sixth-fastest, just 0.099 seconds slower than Räikkönen.

Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg claimed ‘best of the rest’ honours in seventh place, although he was over a second off Ricciardo’s pace with an identical power unit.

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne was an impressive eighth-fastest in the Renault-powered McLaren, one spot ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard’s compatriot Carlos Sainz Jr. was tenth-fastest.

Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley shrugged off speculation that his seat was in danger by going eleventh-quickest in the Honda-powered STR13, just 0.022 seconds off Sainz Jr.’s pace. The New Zealander survived a scrape against the Sainte-Dévote barriers exiting the corner.

Teammate Pierre Gasly was fourteenth-fastest, with the pair sandwiching the Force India duo of Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon.

Williams rookie Sergey Sirotkin finished 15th-fastest, chased by Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Charles Leclerc (Sauber).

As is tradition in Monte Carlo, the Formula 1 field will have a ‘rest day’ on Friday before getting back on the Circuit de Monaco on Saturday morning for Free Practice 3 and Qualifying.

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Daniel Ricciardo Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB14 1:11.841 33
2. Max Verstappen Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB14 1:12.035 + 0.194 41
3. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari SF71H 1:12.413 + 0.572 42
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1W09 1:12.536 + 0.695 34
5. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari SF71H 1:12.543 + 0.702 36
6. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1W09 1:12.642 + 0.801 38
7. Nico Hülkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team RS18 1:13.047 + 1.206 30
8. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren F1 Team Renault MCL33 1:13.077 + 1.236 40
9. Fernando Alonso McLaren F1 Team Renault MCL33 1:13.115 + 1.274 42
10. Carlos Sainz Jr Renault Sport F1 Team RS18 1:13.200 + 1.359 34
11. Brendon Hartley Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR13 1:13.222 + 1.381 47
12. Sergio Pérez Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM11 1:13.370 + 1.529 39
13. Esteban Ocon Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM11 1:13.382 + 1.541 47
14. Pierre Gasly Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR13 1:13.410 + 1.569 32
15. Sergey Sirotkin Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW41 1:13.547 + 1.706 44
16. Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-18 1:13.572 + 1.731 41
17. Charles Leclerc Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C37 1:13.575 + 1.734 45
18. Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-18 1:13.763 + 1.922 37
19. Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW41 1:14.011 + 2.170 34
20. Marcus Ericsson Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C37 1:14.173 + 2.332 46

Image via Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.