Mercedes failed to show its true speed in FP2, Lewis Hamilton was only eighth quickest and his team-mate Valtteri Bottas managed tenth fastest. Worries over the Mercedes’ long wheelbase going into this weekend could be coming true with the Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Red Bull looking much more aggressive with their significantly shorter wheelbases compared to the Mercedes.
“We took a wrong junction in setting up the car what we thought would be good,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Sky Sports F1.
“We committed to the set-up as it takes longer than a session to change and we decided to push through and collect data. There was a lack of grip and we went out of the window everywhere.”
The German’s 1:12.720 is the fastest time ever around the streets of Monaco, improving Lewis Hamilton’s best lap from FP1 by 0.7s on the ultra-soft tyres.
Daniel Ricciardo set second fastest lap-time ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Toro Rosso occurred as the surprise package of the weekend with both Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz in the top five around a circuit which doesn’t highlight the relative weakness of their Renault engine.
Max Verstappen was sixth fastest ahead of Sergio Perez while McLaren enjoyed an hopeful Thursday as Stoffel Vandoorne and Jenson Button were just outside of the top ten.