Max Verstappen sees no reason why he cannot deliver on team boss Franz Tost's talk of a podium finish in Monaco this weekend.
The Toro Rosso driver's sensational second fastest time in Thursday practice has further highlighted the Dutchman's incredible speed, and prompted talk of a strong result on the streets of Monte Carlo.
And although he concedes that he will need luck to go his way if he is to live up to Tost's top three target, Verstappen thinks that the package has the potential to do it.
“On this track, if we have a lot of luck and people are having problems and crashing out, and we stay on track - maybe there is a chance,” he said.
“We need a lot of luck for that. Normally Mercedes or Ferrari should be ahead, but if we have a lot of luck then maybe.”
Form a surprise
Verstappen's best effort to secure second spot behind Lewis Hamilton in FP1 left him surprised with the result – especially when he could not find his name on a trackside leaderboard.
“I was surprised,” he said. “After the flag I was looking up at the screen and I couldn't find myself [near the bottom]. And then I went a bit up and went alright – that is a good lap then!
“The whole session I was building up slowly. But already from the simulator to here, I think it was very helpful and it felt straightaway very good on the track.I could get a lot of confidence in myself. The laps were just coming.”
Race pace improvement
Although Verstappen and Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz disappointingly slipped down the order after a strong qualifying performance in Spain a fortnight ago, he is more confident about the situation in Monaco.
“We figured out a bit what went wrong, and of course it is hard to overtake on this track so for sure qualifying is important,” he said.
“In Spain, we were a bit too conservative on the tyres, because on the whole stint we were doing the same lap times and everybody else was going very fast at the beginning and then dropping off. So that is something to look at.”