Mercedes had a race to forget in the Spanish GP, after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took each other out, allowing Max Verstappen to create history. Hamilton and Rosberg will hope to have a better outing this time around at the Monaco GP, starting with a dominating show in qualifying on Saturday.
Rosberg and Hamilton crashed into each other right at the beginning of the Spanish GP, paving the way for Red Bull to take control, as Verstappen became the youngest ever race winner in F1 history.
While Rosberg would have been upset at not taking any points from Barcelona, the crash would have hurt Hamilton a lot more, considering the defending champion is the one playing catchup to his Mercedes teammate.
Going by the timings in FP2 on Thursday, Red Bull look like being competitive again, and on a circuit like Monaco, where overtaking is really difficult, getting pole position could be the difference between victory and having to just settle for a podium place.
"It's been a relatively good day," Hamilton told F1's official website after posting decent times in FP1 and FP2. "No real surprises, except that the track has changed slightly at Turn 15, which has made it a bit quicker through there.
"But generally it's been a really positive start. We've got everything we needed done in both sessions and our pace looks good, so hopefully that continues through the rest of the weekend."
Apart from the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, the two Ferrari drivers, Verstappen and his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who topped the time sheets in free practice two, will pose a threat to the Mercedes duo, particularly the youngest of the lot.
"I think the package is very strong here," Verstappen told the F1 website in an interview, while speaking of the Monaco track. "I had a good feeling so far. I am a realist -- Mercedes will be very strong again, no matter if it is an engine driven track or not. A podium would be very cool here, winning of course even cooler."
Another team hoping to get amongst the points will be Force India. Sergio Perez did well to finish eighth in FP2, while his teammate Nico Hulkenberg was 11th. The duo will hope to crack the top ten in qualifying and just take it from there when raceday comes along on Sunday.
"It was a very promising start to our weekend, on a day in which our priority was to get in all of our planned running," Hulkenberg said. "Driving around this track is always a lot of fun as it's a circuit that tests you to the limit. The feeling I got from the car is positive.
"It's up to us to work well now and turn this promising start into a good result."
The qualifying session of the Monaco GP is scheduled for a 2 p.m. local time (5.30 p.m. IST, 1 p.m. BST, 8 a.m ET) start. Below are the live streaming and TV options.
|India||Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD 4|
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports F1|
|Middle East and North Africa||Bein Sport Arabia|
|Germany, Italy||Sky Sport|
|India||Star Sports Online and Hotstar|
|US||NBC Sports Online|
|UK||Watch Sky Sports|
|Middle East||BeIN Sport Connect|
|Asia||Fox Sports Online|
|Italy||Sky Go Italy|
|Germany||Sky Go Germany|