Ferrari not feeling pressure as Monaco Grand Prix looms: Vettel

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Monaco (AFP)

Sebastian Vettel insisted that Ferrari are not feeling the heat from increased pressure and will bounce back after scrappy opening practice sessions at the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday.

The four-time world champion wound up only ninth after Thursday's second practice session, two places behind Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, and he also survived two brushes with the barriers on the unforgiving Mediterranean street circuit.

Both men were unable to lap within 1.5 seconds of the pace set by fastest driver Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, who was quickest ahead of the two Mercedes.

"I tried a lot of things, but not everything worked," said German Vettel.

"Overall it was a bit of a scrappy day. I think it's OK. The pace is in the car, but we just struggled to get it out."

He rejected suggestions that the team were struggling under pressure created by expectations of victory.

"There's always pressure each race, the desire to do well, which you could call pressure," he said. "But it's the reason why we're here.

"We're not here to race for eighth or fifth. We're here to win."

He added that he felt Ferrari's position was not a true reflection of their potential in Monaco.

"As I said, we didn't have a good day, but if you look at the standings, we don't belong there. We will be a lot better on Saturday.

"Today, it was not the main focus to rank high up, but the running we had was a bit scrappy. We tried a couple of things and it's fair to say that some of them didn't work!"