Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull is quick enough to fight Mercedes for pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix.

In Thursday's first practice session, Ricciardo was just 0.2s off the pace set by Lewis Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel was 0.1s slower than Hamilton in FP2 as Fernando Alonso topped the times. Encouraged by what he had seen in both sessions, Ricciardo said Red Bull was ready to give Mercedes a hard time this weekend.

"It's still early days but I think if we put it all together we can challenge on Saturday," Ricciardo said.

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Asked if pole position was a possibility, Ricciardo replied: "Yeah, always.

"It's still early but we seem to be there or thereabouts with them. So a few little tweaks over the next 24 hours and I think on Saturday if we get it the way we want then we will give them a run."

With chief technical officer Adrian Newey having committed himself to Red Bull "for the foreseeable future" earlier on Thursday, Ricciardo said it was positive news for the team.

"I'm very encouraged. I think we know what Mr Newey is all about and obviously it's just my first real season working with him but so far I've really enjoyed it so it would be nice to continue."