Daniel Ricciardo knows that there is one race win on the F1 calendar that every driver wants to add to his CV it is Monaco and, after the frustration of missing out in Spain two weeks ago, he is resetting his sights on the Principality.
Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen pulled off a 'smash and grab' on his debut with the Milton Keynes outfit, benefiting from the smash between the two Mercedes drivers and grabbing the opportunity to win when Ricciardo was called for an extra pit-stop to cover the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. With Verstappen making his tyres last to the end, the Australian could only finish fourth, despite having led for much of the race once Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had removed themselves from the equation.
Having dismissed any hidden agenda designed to give Verstappen a headline-grabbing victory, Ricciardo boosted his chances of joining the Dutchman in the win column by topping Thursday's second practice session in Monaco, comfortably ahead of Hamilton, with the Mercedes man admitting that he's not sure he can close the entire six-tenths gap between them.
While the Australian agrees that the margin will probably close up on Saturday, he knows that there was an opportunity missed in Barcelona, and he remains determined to follow countrymen Mark Webber and Jack Brabham as a winner of the blue riband event.
“If you could pick your wins on the calendar, Monaco is probably on top of the list,” Ricciardo admitted, “It is so prestigious, and it really is definitely the most 'drivers' track' we come across. So there is a little bit of prestige and confidence around this place – if you can win here, it is a good feeling.”
“I wanted to win the last race very much. I didn't win the last one, so [winning here] is the plan. We were quick today, but I'd be surprised if we can keep that gap in qualifying.”