Daniel Ricciardo has set his sights on challenging Ferrari after admitting that Red Bull has continued to make inroads into its various early season woes.

The Australian ended the opening day of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend down in an unrepresentative 16th on the timesheets after rain swept across the Principality and prevented any improvements in the final hour of free practice, but insisted that the was still making progress in terms of its handling and power delivery after finding a late spot in the top three during the morning session.

"I think it was decent," he said of the dry morning practice, "I think we are on the right foot. There is nothing massively with the car that feels out of shape, so I think we are more or less there where we need to be. Besides Mercedes, it is pretty closer. I think Ferrari obviously still has the edge but, with a perfect qualifying, we can maybe try to split them.

Related Articles

"Don't get me wrong, to get in front of Ferrari will still be quite an effort, but anything can happen around here, it is not impossible. We should be ahead of the Williams at least. Toro Rosso look quick again, but we should be alright.

"We have still got some stuff going on, but we are used to it now. Each race we do, we are managing to drive around the problem a bit better. So I think, as I said, if we can put in a hard lap in qualifying then we will manage the issues."

The cooler than expected temperatures meant that generating heat in tyres was a problem up and down the pit-lane, but Ricciardo was optimistic that, with a better forecast for the rest of the weekend, the situation would improve.

"Tyre warm-up with the cold today was pretty poor, so hopefully a bit more sun comes up on Saturday to help us, otherwise qualifying might [need] a few laps to get it going," the Aussie confirmed, "The soft was taking a while. Even this morning, a lot of the guys, even us after ten laps, were seeing the times still coming down. Maybe in qualifying, we'll put 50kg [of fuel in] and drive around the whole session. It might help us!"