Daniel Ricciardo can state his case in Monaco practice
Red Bull could be in shape to challenge for win
Monaco Grand Prix practice
Channel 4 & Sky Sports F1, 10am Thursday
Mercedes are riding high with Lewis Hamilton atop the standings after the team's 1-2 finish in Spain but they have not been at their best in Monaco in recent seasons.
Hamilton was able to win on the streets of the principality in 2016 only after Red Bull had botched pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo's pitstop, while last year the Silver Arrows were totally outclassed by Ferrari.
Part of Ferrari's strength on the twisty street track last year was their shorter wheelbase – the distance between front and rear wheels – but for this season the Scuderia have copied Mercedes' dimensions.
But they also had strong form on the softest tyres, so the fact that Pirelli's new hypersoft compound will be used this weekend for the first time may help Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
However, Red Bull may get a chance to upstage the big two this weekend.
Max Verstappen has had an erratic season and crashed out of two of his three Monaco GPs but teammate Daniel Ricciardo has a fine record at the track.
The lack of power from their Renault engine won't hurt Red Bull so much in Monaco and they are another team who should enjoy the softest tyres.
Ricciardo has a decent record in opening practice sessions this year and is worth a bet.
D Ricciardo fastest in practice one
1pt 4-1 Hills, Sky Bet
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