Monaco GP: Ricciardo storms to pole ahead of Vettel

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Monaco GP: Ricciardo storms to pole ahead of Vettel
Edd Straw
By: Edd Straw
May 26, 2018, 2:09 PM

Daniel Ricciardo claimed pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix after Red Bull Formula 1 teammate Max Verstappen missed qualifying thanks to his practice crash.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Red Bull Racing mechanics work on the car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18
Sergey Sirotkin, Williams FW41
Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso STR13
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09

Ricciardo topped the first two stages of qualifying, with Verstappen unable even to take to the track thanks to damage sustained in a crash at the second part of Swimming Pool that forced a gearbox change, before banging in a 1m10.810s on his first run in Q3 to take top spot.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton briefly threatened Ricciardo's position with the fastest first sector time of qualifying on his final flier, but lost time later in the lap and ended up third behind Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

Ricciardo, meanwhile, looked set to improve, but lost time in the final sector and ended up posting a lap 0.036s slower than his first attempt.

This is only Ricciardo's second pole position in Formula 1, coming two years after his first at the same venue.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest, just 0.034s slower than Hamilton, with the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in fifth place.

Of the Q3 runners, only the Mercedes drivers attempted an alternative strategy by using ultrasofts for their first runs in Q2.

But neither Hamilton nor Bottas were quick enough and had to run again on hypersofts, meaning all of the top 10 will start on the softest Pirelli compound.

Esteban Ocon won the battle for best of the rest in sixth place, with just 0.160s covering the bottom five in Q3.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso, Renault's Carlos Sainz, Force India's Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly completed the top 10.

Nico Hulkenberg's final lap in Q2 was not good enough to get him into the top 10, falling a tenth short of Gasly's time.

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne was shuffled down to 12th having been sixth based on his time on the first runs thanks to failing to improve on his second set of tyres – potentially as a result of a minor problem with the car.

Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin and Sauber's Charles Leclerc were eighth and ninth respectively in Q1, but ended up 13th and 14th overall despite both making slight improvements in the second stage of qualifying.

Romain Grosjean was 15th for Haas, just 0.014s slower than Leclerc, as the team continued to struggle. The Haas driver will drop three places on the grid, however, as a result of his Spanish GP penalty.

Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley was fastest of those to be eliminated in Q1 in 16th place.

His first run was not quick enough to avoid the drop zone, and he was only able to make an improvement of 0.224s on his second set of hypersofts.

A yellow flag at Ste Devote because of Leclerc's off meant he could not make a final attempt to get into the top 15.

Sauber's Marcus Ericsson was 17th ahead of the Williams of Lance Stroll, with Kevin Magnussen's difficult weekend continuing with 19th and last place of the runners ahead only of Verstappen.

ClaDriverChassisEngineTimeGap
1 australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 1'10.810  
2 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 1'11.039 0.229
3 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 1'11.232 0.422
4 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 1'11.266 0.456
5 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 1'11.441 0.631
6 france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 1'12.061 1.251
7 spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Renault 1'12.110 1.300
8 spain Carlos Sainz  Renault Renault 1'12.130 1.320
9 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 1'12.154 1.344
10 france Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Honda 1'12.221 1.411
11 germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 1'12.411 1.601
12 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Renault 1'12.440 1.630
13 russia Sergey Sirotkin  Williams Mercedes 1'12.521 1.711
14 monaco Charles Leclerc  Sauber Ferrari 1'12.714 1.904
15 new_zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Honda 1'13.179 2.369
16 sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 1'13.265 2.455
17 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 1'13.323 2.513
18 france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 1'12.728 1.918
19 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 1'13.393 2.583
20 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Monaco GP
Location Monte Carlo
Author Edd Straw
Article type Qualifying report