Ricciardo: Thursday in Monaco a ‘stalemate’

Daniel Ricciardo at Monaco

Daniel Ricciardo acknowledges he’s got work to do ahead of a crucial qualifying session for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix tomorrow.

The McLaren recruit was just 15th in both Thursday practice sessions, more than eight tenths adrift of team-mate Lando Norris’ best effort on each occasion.

The tight streets of Monaco are notoriously difficult to pass on, making for the most important qualifying session of the year to secure track position for Sunday’s race.

With a day off before Free Practice 3 and qualifying per Monaco’s unique schedule, Ricciardo and his crew have the chance to mull over the way forward.

The 31-year-old’s battles come as key rivals Ferrari recorded a one-two in Free Practice 2.

“It’s nice to be back here for sure, it’s a good track and I love it,” said Ricciardo, who recorded 62 laps across the day.

“Despite that, today wasn’t a great day, we’ve got some work to do.

“We’ve got the evening and all day tomorrow to work it out, but this is why I love Monaco, you get a day off to really get into it, reset, and have a look at where we’re missing out.

“I think by Saturday I’ll be all good and we’ll figure it out, but today it just felt like a little bit of a stalemate at times.

“We’ve got some work to do, but the sun is shining, and we’ll get back out there on Saturday and have some fun.”

For Norris, it was a smoother opening day of the event, taking seventh and sixth in the respective sessions.

Fresh off inking a multi-year contract extension, Norris is determined to maximise his opportunities in the Principality.

“A decent day, I’m happy,” he reported.

“I think we made some good progress between the sessions.

“It’s very tight, as expected, especially to the guys behind, but we also look not far off the guys ahead. We have a chance to capitalise on mistakes that they might make.

“I feel comfortable in the car but there’s definitely some more to unlock going into Saturday, and into qualifying.

“So, tomorrow we can spend the day looking over the data to see what improvements we can make for the rest of the weekend.”

Free Practice 3 will commence at 20:00 AEST on Saturday.

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