F1: I knew we'll have a shot in Monaco, says Red Bull's Ricciardo
Monte Carlo: Daniel Ricciardo secured his maiden pole position for today’s Monaco Grand Prix with a stunning fastest lap for Red Bull in an incident-filled qualifying session on Saturday.
A jubilant Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo celebrates his pole position during the Monaco GP Qualifying in Monte Carlo on Saturday. Pic/AFP
The Australian, driving with supreme aplomb, mastered the unforgiving Monte Carlo street circuit with a best lap in one minute and 13.622 seconds. This was enough to beat both Mercedes drivers comprehensively, championship leader German Nico Rosberg winding up second behind him by 0.291 seconds and defending three-time champion Briton Lewis Hamilton third, after suffering another engine problem.
Sebastian Vettel was fourth for Ferrari ahead of compatriot Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Finn Kimi Raikkonen, in the second Ferrari.
“It’s a special place and I knew we’d have a shot at it here,” said Ricciardo. “It looked good from Thursday. I had it in my mind the whole time and, after Barcelona, I felt like I’ve been driving well — and not got the rewards.
“So I came into this weekend with a lot of confidence and a lot of belief that I could be in this position. I’ve always enjoyed this place, we’ve got a good package and it’s nice to make the most of it.”
Rosberg said: “He was very fast and deserved it. We weren’t fast enough.”
A stony-faced Hamilton said: “I don’t really know what to say. At least, I did a lap so it wasn’t as bad as some of the other races. Pole was there for the taking.”
Advantage Red Bull
Ricciardo set his time on a set of super soft tyres with greater durability than the ultra softs used by his rivals — a likely tactical advantage in the classic 78 laps race.
Eight of the last 10 Monaco races have been won from pole position.
His Red Bull teammate record-breaking Dutch teenager Max Verstappen crashed in the opening Q1 session and will start from the back of the grid.
Ricciardo became the 10th driver to claim a maiden pole at Monte Carlo, joining the likes of Juan-Manuel Fangio and Australian Jack Brabham.
Carlos Sainz was seventh for Toro Rosso ahead of Sergio Perez of Force India and Russian Daniil Kvyat in the second Toro Rosso. Two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso was 10th for McLaren Honda.