Dominant Daniel Ricciardo storms to Monaco Grand Prix pole
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo blitzed his rivals as he set a new track record to take pole position for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, having led the way through all three practice sessions, topped each segment of the three-stage qualifying hour to take his second career pole – two years after his previous effort at the same venue.
Ricciardo posted two laps quick enough for pole position in Q3 – his fastest, a 1:10:810, marked another new track record, and came during his first run.
“50 per cent done, let’s finish this s**t tomorrow,” radioed an ecstatic Ricciardo after taking pole.
Ricciardo’s supremacy was in contrast to the fortunes of team-mate Max Verstappen, who did not participate in qualifying off the back of his crash in final practice.
Verstappen had been second to Ricciardo in each of the three sessions and his absence opened the door for a non-Red Bull driver to join the Australian on the front row of the grid.
Lewis Hamilton initially grasped the opportunity as he, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were covered by just 0.005s after the first Q3 runs.
But Hamilton could not improve to the same extent as Vettel and the Ferrari driver posted a time of 1:11.039 to beat his fellow four-time champion to second position.
Last year’s polesitter Raikkonen was fourth while Valtteri Bottas was a subdued fifth.
Mercedes attempted to negotiate Q2 on the Ultrasoft tyres – as opposed to the Hypersoft tyres – but both Hamilton and Bottas were left in the drop zone and the team abandoned that tactic.
It means that all of the top 10 drivers on the grid will start the race on the Hypersoft compound.
Esteban Ocon spearheaded the midfield charge for Force India as he finished sixth – six-tenths behind nearest rival Bottas – while Fernando Alonso was seventh.
Carlos Sainz Jr. and Sergio Perez were eighth and ninth as Pierre Gasly returned Toro Rosso to Q3.
Nico Hulkenberg and Stoffel Vandoorne took 11th and 12th respectively, beaten by their Spanish team-mates, while Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin impressed in Q1 but fell to 13th in Q2.
Home representative Charles Leclerc slotted into the top 10 in the first session but as the pace ramped up he found only a tenth of a second in the next segment, and took 14th place.
Romain Grosjean finished as the slowest of the Q2 runners but will drop to 18th on the grid as a consequence of the penalty he was given for causing the first-lap clash in Spain.
Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley was irate after being blocked by a Force India on one of his laps and was one of the drivers hindered by a late yellow in Q1, caused by Leclerc going wide at Sainte Devote.
Hartley, who was seventh in the final practice session, thus wound up in 16th position, ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Williams’ Lance Stroll, the pair unable to match their less experienced team-mates.
All three, though, will move up one spot from where they qualified due to Grosjean’s sanction.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was the slowest of the 19 drivers who competed in qualifying, ahead of non-starter Verstappen, a stark contrast to his midfield-leading effort two weeks ago in Spain.
Sunday’s 78-lap Grand Prix is scheduled for 15:10 local time
Monaco - Qualifying Result
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:10.810|
|6||Esteban Ocon||RP Force India||1:12.061||1.251|
|9||Sergio Perez||RP Force India||1:12.154||1.344|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:12.221||1.411|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:13.179|
|20||Max Verstappen||Red Bull|