An incredible lap has seen Daniel Ricciardo set a new track record as he secured pole position for Sunday’s Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Setting his best time on his first run in Qualifying 3, Ricciardo stopped the clocks at 1m 10.810s, a time 0.4s clear of his nearest rivals at the time.
Late efforts from Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton closed the gap to the Red Bull, but both fell short with Ricciardo’s early effort enough to stand the balance of the session.
A second effort as the chequered flag fell saw Ricciardo fall 0.03s short of his initial attempt.
Vettel will line up alongside Ricciardo on the front row, edging out Hamilton who will share the second row with the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas will line up fifth ahead of the leading Force India of Esteban Ocon, the Frenchman beating his team-mate by less than a tenth of a second but will start three places higher on the grid.
Between them will be Fernando Alonso in the lead McLaren and Carlos Sainz’s Renault.
Mercedes had tried to escape Qualifying 2 on a set of ultrasoft tyres, but were forced to switch their program mid-session as the hypersofts proved the compound of choice.
At the time both Hamilton and Bottas found themselves in the drop zone before switching to softest compound to ensure their progression into the final phase of the session.
Renault opted for a single run late in the session, a strategy which saw Sainz progress but not Nico Hulkenberg.
Stoffel Vandoorne, Sergey Sirotkin, Charles Leclerc, and Romain Grosjean joined the German in watching the final qualifying stanza from the sidelines.
Set to take a three-place penalty heading into the race, Grosjean will fall from 15th to 18th for the race.
Ricciardo set a new track record during the middle phase of the session, a 1:11.353s lap which he later improved on with a 1:11.278s.
The Australian has also topped the opening part of the three-part session by 0.4s over Vettel, while at the other end of the field Brendon Hartley was an unexpected victim after the Toro Rosso driver could manage no better than 16th.
Also culled were Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen and Max Verstappen, who was a scratching from qualifying following a crash late in final practice.
The Dutchman tagged the wall on the right hander exiting the Swimming Pool complex before being fired across the road and clouting the wall.
As the team worked to repair the Red Bull it discovered gearbox damage which ultimately ended any chance he had of making it out on track.
Results: Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Renault||1:10.810|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:12.061|
|7||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:12.110|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:12.154|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda||1:12.221|
|12||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:12.440|
|13||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Merceds||1:12.521|
|14||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:12.714|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:12.728|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:13.179|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:13.265|
|18||Lance Stroll||Williams Merceds||1:13.323|
|19||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:13.393|
|20||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Renault|