Mercedes are ready to work hard on Friday in an attempt to claw back some time on Ferrari, with Andrew Shovlin making it clear he believes the pace shown by the Italian outfit on Thursday was genuine.
The big talking point coming out of Thursday's practice was the Scuderia finishing one-two in FP2, with Charles Leclerc coming out ahead of Carlos Sainz. Ferrari's pace certainly caught the attention of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, with Shovlin noting they could be in the fight for victory come Sunday.
"For a Monaco Thursday this one has been relatively straightforward," Shovlin stated via a Mercedes press release. "Traffic is always a feature and as expected, the shorter sessions make it hard to do much by way of long runs. That said, we've covered the majority of what we set out to and we have a decent understanding of our limitations and the areas that we need to improve.
"This season we've learnt to expect Max's company in the battle at the front but it was a surprise to us to see both Ferraris looking so strong; you don't need to scrutinise the timesheets for long to see that their pace is genuine - they could be real contenders for the win.
Given Monaco follows an unfamiliar schedule with practice happening on Thursday rather than Friday, teams will have an extra day to analyse their performance, something Mercedes will look to take advantage of.
"We've got an extra day to work on things tomorrow which is handy as it feels like we need to improve both our single lap and long run performance, but Monaco is all about putting together the entire weekend and today was a pretty decent start," Shovlin concluded.