Ricciardo scores sensational maiden F1 pole
Daniel Ricciardo outgunned Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to score a sensational pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Australian’s first ever Formula 1 pole came courtesy of a blinding first Q3 effort that saw the Red Bull lap the street circuit in 1:13.62s.
Rosberg fell 0.29s short of the marker on his first run before ending up 0.17s shy with his second.
Hamilton’s Q3 proved a dramatic affair as his Mercedes was pulled back into its garage after a fuel pressure issue struck as the segment began.
When the Brit was finally able to fire a shot in anger during the dying seconds, he went fastest to the second sector before ending the lap 0.32s down on Ricciardo.
The result marks the first pole for Red Bull Racing since 2013.
“I knew coming into the weekend we’d have a good shot at it,” said Ricciardo, who appeared on course for victory last time out in Spain before losing out on strategy.
“The last few races I feel like I’ve been driving well but haven’t got maximum rewards, so I came into this weekend with a lot of confidence and belief that I could be in this position now.
“I’m very happy to fulfil that. I’ve always enjoyed this place. The car is good and it’s nice to be able to make the most out of it.”
Sebastian Vettel put his Ferrari on the outside of the second row, but was almost a full second adrift of the pole.
Nico Hulkenberg took his Force India to fifth by pipping the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who will take a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat and Fernando Alonso completed the Q3 order.
The biggest scalp of the early segments was last start winner Max Verstappen, who crashed his Red Bull at the Swimming Pool chicane in Q1.
A touch with the inside wall at the right-hander broke the steering on the Red Bull, sending the youngster hard into the outside wall at the following corner.
“I felt more confident than all my other laps and also in terms of car balance because already my second sector was 0.3s faster than I ever did,” he explained.
“It was all coming together but into the chicane I maybe underestimated the grip I had, turned in too early and it all goes wrong.”
The red flags had been required early in Q1 thanks to an engine failure for Felipe Nasr’s Sauber.
If dry conditions hold for the race, a decision from Red Bull to run Ricciardo on Super Soft tyres in Q2 could prove a strategic wildcard.
CLICK HERE for more on Ricciardo’s tyre strategy.
Result: Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:13.622s|
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1:14.726s||+1.104s|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1:14.749s||+1.127s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1:14.902s||+1.280s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1:15.273s||+1.651s|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1:14.732s||+1.110s Five place Penalty|
|12||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas/Ferrari||1:15.293s||+1.671s Q2|
|13||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||1:15.352s||+1.730s Q2|
|14||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||1:15.385s||+1.763s Q2|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||1:15.571s||+1.949s Q2|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Renault||1:16.058s||+2.436s Q2|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1:16.299s||+2.677s Q1|
|18||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||1:16.586s||+2.964s Q1|
|19||Rio Haryanto||Manor/Mercedes||1:17.295s||+3.673s Q1|
|20||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor/Mercedes||1:17.452s||+3.830s Q1|
|21||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1:22.467s||+8.845s Q1|