The Monaco Grand Prix will feature female promotional models on the grid ahead of the race despite Formula One's decision to end the practice of officially employing "grid girls" ahead of the 2018 season.
Britain's Lewis Hamilton, who holds a 17-point championship lead over Vettel ahead of Sunday's race, was fourth for Mercedes, more than half a second adrift of Ricciardo's blistering time of one minute and 11.841 seconds.
Sunday's race will see female and male representatives of Tag Heuer, a long-time partner of the Monaco Grand Prix, take to the grid moments before lights out.
"I think women are the most handsome things in the world", Hamilton said at a Monaco media conference covered by news agency AFP where the move was a hot topic. They will also be joined by male models in the role.
"There have been races where we've had guys standing at the front, by the vehicle, there's been a mixture sometimes in the past". I can't really comment.
"But I definitely don't think that we should ever be supporting or pushing these women in general to feel uncomfortable".
"It's no secret that we're always pretty good around here", the team's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, hunting for his second win of the season after winning last month's Chinese Grand Prix, told reporters. "But if they are comfortable doing it I don't really have an answer for you otherwise".
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"I thought a year ago Ferrari, new regulations, maybe they just got a few things right and then Mercedes with time, with the development, would just completely disappear again".
"I think he should go to Ferrari".
"If there was guys, I was just not interested. nothing against those guys, I just didn't care as much but the bottom line is I think it's too much of a fuss nowadays".
"History shows it can often be hard when there's two incredibly strong alphas within a team, but it seems to kind of work with him and Kimi - but if you really look you can honestly say that Kimi can't be too happy because there's certain scenarios that don't work out for him".
The two four-time world champions have dominated the modern era: Only Jenson Button (2009) and Nico Rosberg (2016) have managed to beat either of them to the title since Hamilton's first in 2008. "It speaks a little bit for our times that sometimes there's a lot of noise for nothing".
The F1 season this weekend moves to Monaco.
"Grid girls, as we have seen holding drivers' number cards, are not any more a part of Formula One".