Sebastian Vettel reckons Red Bull could 'potentially' be 'a little bit closer' to Mercedes around the streets of Monte Carlo this weekend.

Vettel and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo were right up at the head of the times in both practice sessions on Thursday and encouragingly the gap to Mercedes was a lot smaller than it has been, with just a few tenths separating them.

Indeed Vettel was third in the abridged FP2, only 0.116 seconds off Lewis Hamilton in second, and in FP1, Ricciardo was also third, 0.235 seconds off the top time of the day, a 1m 18.271s, set by the 2008 F1 World Champion. Vettel ended FP1 in fifth.

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"We potentially are a little bit closer here," Vettel confirmed.

"But you know at the moment it's all guessing," he warned. "Mercedes were very quick this morning and we see that usually, come Saturday, they are able to pick up their pace, so we'll try to do the same."

"I think the big advantage on this track would be that there's not that many straights, but we have to wait and see," added the German. "We know that it's quite important to qualify in the front here so if there is a chance then we have to use it."

Vettel meanwhile conceded it was disappointing the second session was mostly wet: "We were obviously limited today on what we could learn in terms of pace and range," added the four-time F1 World Champion.

"Obviously we'd love to run in the dry the whole time here, but of course if it's wet it's the same for everyone," he concluded.