Mercedes' run of one-two finishes to start the season has led to criticism of Formula 1's uncompetitive nature in 2019, but it seems even a track that has previously been the world champions' kryptonite won't stop them.
So is there any chance of anything other than another Mercedes lockout?
Hopes rest with Verstappen
Hamilton was the quickest man in both sessions, although Bottas was in close quarters each time.
Lewis Hamilton’s 1:11.118 is the 3rd-fastest lap in the history of Monaco, beaten only by Ricciardo and Vettel’s front row times from last year. It’s still only Thursday! #MonacoGP ??
Verstappen was also on his tail in FP1, even ahead of Bottas, but the Red Bull was hampered by a reported water leak in FP2 and the Dutchman's late-session attempts were wrecked by car handling issues.
With Verstappen looking to respond to last year's FP3 crash, which ended his hopes of winning, it seems hopes of a competitive race rest with the Dutchman.
Given both Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly were in the top five in FP2, it seems the Honda-powered cars have form around Monte Carlo, and Verstappen might be able to claw back some performance come Saturday.
Ferrari comfortably adrift
Charles Leclerc getting within thee tenths of Hamilton in FP2 – a gap effectively slightly bigger given Monaco's short distance – was as close as Ferrari could get to Mercedes in both sessions.
Sebastian Vettel won here for the Scuderia two years ago, but was never able to get within a sniff of the Silver Arrows and it seems even the second row of the grid could be a challenge for at least one of the Ferrari cars.
With the rain that had been forecast for Saturday now expected to arrive after qualifying, it seems the red cars will have wounds to lick once again come race day.
Daniel Ricciardo took a redemptive win here last year, but going 17th-fastest will be of some concern for the Australian and Renault, who saw Nico Hulkenberg finish just one place ahead.
Albon ended Thursday with the honours in Class B, even matching the pace of Gasly in the Red Bull and the Thai driver's pole position here in Formula 2 last year suggests he could be one to watch in the weekend.
Alfa Romeo appeared to be the most consistent of the midfield runners, with Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen matching each other largely in both sessions.
Racing Point look off the pace, however, with Lance Stroll especially struggling to find his rhythm across both sessions, failing to pull away from the pace of the sluggish Williams, having gone slower than them in FP1.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.