All eyes are on Red Bull at the principality after Ricciardo cemented their status as the pre-race favourites by posting the fastest lap ever recorded in Monte Carlo en route to completing a practice double on Thursday.
There were also impressive performances from both Force Indias, Sergey Sirotkin and Charles Leclerc, but it was an afternoon to forget for Max Verstappen who was unable to take part in qualifying after his Practice Three crash and is set to start Sunday's race from last.
For Ricciardo, he has not put a foot wrong, topping every practice and qualifying session - the first driver to do so this season - with his Red Bull auto ideally suited to the slow-speed Monte Carlo streets.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said Verstappen needed to learn from his mistakes this year and Verstappen said he would review the incident in order to learn from it.
He was on a faster lap at the time but conceded he should have been more cautious given it was not a qualifying session.
Ricciardo was significantly faster than his Ferrari and Mercedes rivals, setting a new track record in the final session.
His agile Red Bull had looked impressive in practice, having the better of Mercedes and Ferrari around Monaco's street circuit, an unusually slow and winding track by F1's standards.
He missed qualifying as a result and was forced to watch on from the Red Bull garage as teammate Daniel Ricciardo claimed a comfortable pole position.
Red Bull could not fix Verstappen's vehicle in time to get him out after a practice crash, leaving Ricciardo to blitz Mercedes and Ferrari.
"Congratulations to Daniel. They've had the pace all weekend, we knew they would", Hamilton said.
"I think women are the most attractive things in the world", Hamilton said at a Monaco media conference covered by news agency AFP where the move was a hot topic.
Verstappen, who had said earlier in the week that he was prepared to take risks in Formula One's showcase race, brought out the red flags after the accident at the exit to the swimming pool section. I think we'll be pretty decent.
Ferrari struggled with tyre wear at the Spanish Grand Prix where Vettel finished fourth and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen retired with an engine problem.
The Silver Arrows were off the pace early and chose to take a risk to start Q2, sending their cars out on ultrasoft tyres.
"This place bites hard if you abuse it. Max is a very fast driver, we know that, and this weekend he has a great auto".
"I do anticipate it's going to be a hard weekend", said Hamilton, who finished only seventh after having started 13th previous year.