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Daniel Ricciardo expects increased Ferrari, Mercedes threat

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Despite dominating practice around the streets of Monte Carlo, Daniel Ricciardo expects the fight for pole position to be close between Formula One's top three teams.

Ricciardo topped both practice sessions ahead of Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen. 2017 Monaco winner Sebastian Vettel was third fastest but was over half a second shy of the Australian's lap record of a 1:11.841.

Ricciardo's only pole position came in Monaco back in 2016 and he says adding to that tally is his only target in qualifying on Saturday.

"It is the target for sure, the intention this weekend was to try and win, and be dominant. Today is good. It is a good start. We topped the sessions, so for now we have done all we can. But we have a day off, then Saturday, and I am sure Ferrari and Mercedes will start to put pressure on us. But today we did what we could so I am happy.''

With Mercedes and Ferrari typically turning up their engines for qualifying, Ricciardo expects the field to be tighter than in practice but he is sure there is still more to come from Red Bull.

"It is going to tighten up on Saturday,'' Ricciardo added. "But all we can do today is try and top it and we did. A good start, both cars are strong. Our long run looked decent. It is not everything around here, but we seem to good in all conditions at the moment.

"In both sessions we were always fighting for the top place, me and Max, so you never know what the others will do, the other two big teams, but today was good. We can find a bit more but we are more or less there and Saturday afternoon is going to be very close.''