Daniel Ricciardo will be very hard to beat in his slick new Red Bull car at his favourite Formula One circuit in Monaco this weekend, according to championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
The team improved their cars' downforce leading into the most recent race of the series – in Spain nine days ago – and their speed boost on the Barcelona circuit's twisty sections impressed Hamilton.
"If you look at Daniel Ricciardo (in Spain), he was much quicker in the last sector," the Mercedes driver told Formula1.com.
"They are going to be rapid in Monaco – and very hard to beat."
The Australian finished a respectable fifth in Barcelona and his teammate Max Verstappen was propelled onto the podium in third.
Lewis' teammate Valtteri Bottas echoed the reigning world champion's prediction.
"Red Bull have been really quick in the last sector which is all twisty corners – and that's what Monaco is all about," said Bottas.
Ricciardo, who had victory in Monaco ripped from his grasp in 2016 due to a pit stop error, says his car's speed on Barcelona's slower corners was pleasing ahead of Monaco.
"The encouraging thing from Barcelona is that we were quick in the third sector and that is probably the closest to Monaco, so hopefully that shows what we can do," he said.
"Hopefully, I'll also get some redemption."
Despite his past disappointment at the principality, the race remains the 28-year-old's favourite of the championship.
"It creates the most adrenaline and excitement. The circuit is insane," he said.
"It's crazy to think we race around the streets so close to the walls like we do. I just love the whole atmosphere, there's a lot of intensity and the risk and reward are the best of the year."
Turns 12,13 and 14 are the most exciting, he added.
Ricciardio is currently in the fifth position on the driver standings while Red Bull is third in the constructor standings, behind Mercedes and Ferrari.