Monaco Grand Prix Betting: Button's back but hasn't even driven his car

Button passed on the opportunity to test the McLaren-Honda MCL32 vehicle in Bahrain last month, making his run in FP1 on Thursday in Monaco his first taste of a new-style 2017 F1 auto.

As was the case in the previous round in Barcelona, there didn't seem to be too much separating Ferrari and Mercedes, though, as Vettel nudged ahead of Bottas to within a couple of tenths of Hamilton.

There were no such concerns for championship leader Vettel as he ended a dominant session almost half a second clear of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo by recording the fastest lap ever seen in these parts.

Briton Jenson Button, temporarily back from retirement to replace Fernando Alonso who is racing in the Indianapolis 500, was 14th for McLaren, one second and two places behind his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

"In the long runs, the vehicle was feeling good, so I have a good feeling".

After a day off Friday, the cars will return to the track on Saturday morning for the third practice session before taking part in the qualifying session in the afternoon.

The Ferrari auto is understood to be better at heating up the tyres at lower pressures while Hamilton complained over team radio about struggling to get them up to temperature, a problem confirmed by team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

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Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen and Bottas completed the top 10. "So I think we'd prefer to have a kerb like that than a wall", he said. Kimi Raikkonen led the impressive Toro Rosso duo of Kvyat and Carlos Sainz, who appear to be well suited to the high downforce characteristics of the Monaco street circuit and showed strong pace in both practice sessions.

"Practice one was actually really good and we were quickest, but then in second practice we just struggled to extract the grip from the tyres and we were sliding around a lot".

The four-time champion threw down a gauntlet to his rivals in emphatic fashion by lapping nearly half a second clear of the chasing pack in Thursday's second practice while Briton Hamilton struggled to finish more than a second adrift down in eighth.

"We learned a lot from today". "It's a very mixed-up grid at the moment which I'm sure will all change again on Saturday", Button said.

"I am confident that we have the tools so it's up to us to find the right set-up to get into groove and have the confidence".

Both Hamilton's Mercedes team, which operates out of Brixworth and Brackley in Northamptonshire as well as Stuttgart, and Woking-based McLaren, will also run the hashtag on their chassis either later this afternoon or from qualifying onwards.

Schumacher, who won a record seven world titles and 91 races, also won at Monaco driving for Ferrari in 1997 and '99.

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