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Daniel Ricciardo has established Red Bull Racing as a potentially major threat to Mercedes' anticipated dominance ahead of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix after setting a fierce pace in second free practice

With the team riding a high in the wake of its return to the winners' circle last time out in Spain, Ricciardo gave every indication the former championship-winning team could be a reckoned force this weekend too by dominating in the RB12.

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With the nimble Red Bull chassis always expected to perform well in Monaco, particularly coupled to the team's updated Renault (TAG Heuer) engine, Ricciardo's time of 1min 14.607s lap was a full six tenths quicker than Lewis Hamilton in second place, with Nico Rosberg nine tenths adrift.

Seemingly confirming the strength of the Red Bull package, Spanish Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen was just a few hundredths off Rosberg in fourth position, while the Ferrari-powered Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz made it four Red Bull-backed cars inside the top six.

A disappointing day for a visibly unbalanced Ferrari would see both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel both suffer spins - a Ste Devote and Mirabeau respectively -, the pair ending the session down in seventh and ninth and split by the Force India of Sergio Perez. Jenson Button completed the top ten for McLaren.

Elsewhere, Williams' tough start to the weekend continued around its 'bogey' track with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa - putting in the miles in his repaired FW38 following a crash in FP1 - down in 14th and 16th, while there were crashes of Romain Grosjean, Rio Haryanto and Kevin Magnussen.

Grosjean damaged the front of his Haas when the car tipped into the near-side barrier on the notorious bump under braking into the chicane, a mistake replicated by Haryanto a few minutes later. However, while Grosjean recovered back to the pit lane, Haryanto's Manor spun back into the far-side barrier, causing enough damage to end his session there.

Magnussen, meanwhile, understeered off at the final corner, marking the second crash for the Renault team following Jolyon Palmer's off in FP1.