Max Verstappen believes Red Bull is in a genuine fight for pole position at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix after the team dominated Thursday practice.

Red Bull made the perfect start to the Monaco weekend by cementing one-two finishes in FP1 and FP2 in Monte Carlo, as both Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo traded fastest laps as the pair blitzed the previous track record. 

The Milton Keynes based squad was billed as pre-race favourites and appeared to meet that suggestion with an impressive display as Ricciardo topped both sessions. Verstappen said challenging for his first-ever pole in F1 has to be the aim after Red Bull’s strong showing. 

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“It’s definitely the target after today,” Verstappen explained. “For sure they [Ferrari and Mercedes] will come close in qualifying because of the engine modes but I’m sure we can still do better so pretty good. 

“Straightaway the car has been working well. Not too many set-up issues so that always helps on a street circuit. Of course we always have to improve and I’m sure we can find some stuff, but it’s been a good start.”

The Dutchman ended up nearly 0.2s adrift of his teammate in both the morning and afternoon outings, but is adamant he can make up the difference after admitting he simply failed to hook up all three sectors during each of his runs. 

“It’s not necessarily that I need to improve, it depends when you go out – a little bit of commitment helps as well. I didn’t put all the sectors together but that’s quite normal on a Thursday.

“For sure we can make a difference but for sure you really need a good car for that. Because if you have a really good car you feel comfortable then it all builds up. So far that has been really positive. Hopefully it’ll be the same on Saturday.”