'Grotesque sums of money' propping Hamilton deal: Red Bull boss

DanielRicciardo- cropped

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton's difficulties continued as he could manage only fifth, the best part of half-a-second down on Ricciardo, with Valtteri Bottas sixth in the other Mercedes.

The Dutchman caught the inside wall at the second Swimming Pool chicane with his right front tyre and catapulted into the barriers on the outside.

"Basically, the auto was sacked up and then we saw an oil leak in the gearbox which had been hidden by a shroud and that was it so then they did their best to try and get the gearbox replaced which would have been a five-place penalty".

The lack of long, high-speed corners in Monte Carlo makes life relatively easy for the tyres, and teams came into the weekend expecting an easy one-stop race as a result.

"There have been races where we've had guys standing at the front, by the vehicle, there's been a mixture sometimes in the past".

The defending four-time world champion is out of contract at the end of this year and has joked about joining German rival, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari. So I'm of the view that it's just a matter of time before until the arm-wrestling...someone wins. I love this race and it's a pleasure to drive.

"You also saw in qualifying how easy it was for Daniel", Verstappen added. "It's of course not what you'd like to happen, but unfortunately it happens".

"I feel we set as much of a benchmark as we could", said Ricciardo, who won the Chinese GP last month.

"We need to push it but we don't need to overdrive it", Ricciardo said on Verstappen's crash.

"We will find out tomorrow the true pace and identity of what we arrive here with - I am excited for that challenge either way".

"I'm taking my time", he said on Wednesday, inscrutable behind his shades. "We have put ourselves in a good position, we put ourselves as close as well could and we see what we can do in the race".

He said he expected Red Bull to mount a serious challenge. My second lap I was up and messed up the final sector. If you factor in a couple of safety vehicle periods, Sunday really could be a brighter day.

Hamilton also has a career Formula 1 victory total of 64, which ranks second on the all-time wins list behind the victory total of the great Michael Schumacher (91), and he has a career Formula 1 pole total of 74, which is an all-time-record that continues to climb.

"So we just work as a team, you win and lose together".

McLaren's Fernando Alonso, Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr, Force India's Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly completed the top 10.

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