While the German team looked to be the class of the field in FP1 yesterday, in the second session both drivers were clearly struggling. International Automobile Federation (FIA) safety director Laurent Mekies wrote to the teams ahead of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix seeking modifications to the points at which jacks are engaged to raise the back of cars at pitstops. He would be in second place along with Senna and just three behind Michael Schumacher.
In the past decade only one driver has won the race from behind the front row.
"You've still got to stay afloat in this business". He finished fourth in 2016 and second in 2015. As for a Points Finish, well it's true the tight turns around Monaco will compensate for the lack of pace - just as it did past year when Alonso finished fifth.
The narrow confines of the Monte Carlo circuit makes it one of the toughest on the Formula One calendar and rookie Lance Stroll was the day's biggest casualty after he crashed into the barriers.
But he failed to clock a clean hot lap on the ultra-soft tyres in the second practice. "I'm pretty sure there is a reason and they will be back to full force on Saturday".
Ferrari's vastly improved reliability suits Vettel perfectly.
Notably, however, that remains Red Bull's only pole position since 2013.
"After five years, this relationship has become so strong in a way that it wasn't last season". He's won support races here, he's qualified on pole here, he's led a lot of laps here.
Lewis Hamilton edged out championship rival Sebastian Vettel in opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix as the returning Jenson Button finished 14th. "The aim is to get faster". His Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas was 10th, also without showing his true pace during a busy session interrupted by one red-flagged stoppage when Frenchman Esteban Ocon crashed into the barriers at the entry to Casino Square in his Force India auto. So he tried a move from his karting days; a dummy move from right to left and then swiftly back right again to pass Bottas on the inside. Still we have some work to do on the vehicle but it's more fun this year, going faster, the cars are faster, so it's been a good day.
"After a very positive morning session with both cars and drivers, the afternoon proved more hard and we clearly took a step in the wrong direction with the auto set-up over the break", Mercedes' technical director James Allison said. "But let's keep the fingers crossed".