F1: Ricciardo Takes Blistering Pole on Streets of Monaco

Source: redbull.com

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has taken the all-important pole position around the streets on Monte Carlo ahead of tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Before the start of qualifying, Red Bull confirmed that Max Verstappen’s car wouldn’t be fixed in time after the discovery of a leak in the gearbox and that he would be forced to sit out.

During the first runs of Q1, Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (Ferrari) set the benchmark time of 1:12.670, ahead of Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Sergey Sirotkin (Williams).

Ricciardo was on course to go fastest but encountered traffic during the last sector.

However, on his second run the road ahead was clear and he posted a 1:12.013.

Further back, the scrap for a place in Q2 raged on and saw Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) enter the drop zone as the Finn struggled to find pace.

Normal order was then restored when Bottas went third fastest and saved himself from an early exit.

Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso) was unable to replicate his FP3 performance and was eliminated with Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) and Lance Stroll (Williams).

Kevin Magnussen (Haas) continued to experience issues with tyre temperatures and could only managed 19th.


At the begin of the second qualifying session, Ricciardo set a new track record of a 1:11.353 with Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) in second.

Mercedes opted to have their drivers go out on the ultra-soft tyres as opposed to the preferred hyper-softs.

The decision seemed to be costly as the Silver Arrows were off the pace and in the bottom five, with Lewis Hamilton stating he had low grip levels on the team radio.

With just over three minutes left, the pair moved up to third and fifth respectively and were seemingly on their way to Q3.

Ricciardo managed to go marginally fastest on a 1:11.278 whilst behind him, Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) was unable to edge ahead of Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) at the death and was eliminated.

Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) aborted his final run in 12th, whilst Sirotkin, home favourite Charles Leclerc (Sauber) and Romain Grosjean (Haas) were all unable to make the cut.


This led us onto the top ten shoot out and Ricciardo shattered the morale once more, with an eye-watering time of a 1:10.810 in his first run.

Behind him, Hamilton managed to unlock the pace from his Mercedes to go second ahead of the Ferrari’s, with the three of them all within a hundredth of a second.

The frontrunners took to the track for one more attempt at stealing Ricciardo’s thunder.

But it was in vain as Ricciardo was simply uncatchable and took pole position.

Speaking to David Coulthard at the end of the session, the Australian is already looking forward to tomorrow’s race:

“We made a statement on Thursday. We’ve been quickest every session.”

He then added: “I’ve done everything I can so far, let’s finish it tomorrow. Then we’ll celebrate.”

Vettel managed to beat Hamilton to second, with Rӓikkӧnen taking fourth ahead of his compatriot Bottas.

Esteban Ocon (Force India) had a quiet session but finished a strong sixth ahead of Alonso, with Sainz Jr., Sergio Perez (Force India) and Gasly completing the top ten.

2018 Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying – Provisional Classification:

Pos. Car No. Driver (Nationality) Team Time
1 3 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Red Bull Racing (Q3) 1:10.810
2 5 Sebastian Vettel (DEU), Scuderia Ferrari 1:11.039
3 44 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG 1:11.232
4 7 Kimi Rӓikkӧnen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 1:11.266
5 77 Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes AMG 1:11.441
6 31 Esteban Ocon (FRA), Force India 1:12.061
7 14 Fernando Alonso (ESP), McLaren 1:12.110
8 Carlos Saniz Jr. (ESP), Renault 1:12.130
9 Sergio Perez (MEX), Force India 1:12.154
10 Pierre Gasly (FRA), Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:12.221
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg (DEU), Renault (Q2) 1:12.411
12 2 Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL), McLaren 1:12.440
13 35 Sergey Sirotkin (RUS), Williams 1:12.521
14 16 Charles Leclerc (MON), Sauber 1:12.714
15 28 Brendon Hartley (NZL), Scuderia Toro Rosso (Q1) 1:13.179
16 9 Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Sauber 1:13.265
17 18 Lance Stroll (CDN), Williams 1:13.323
18 8 Romain Grosjean (FRA), Haas Three-Place Grid Penalty
19 20 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas 1:13.393
20 33 Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing No Time