Ricciardo achieves maiden pole in Monaco

Daniel Ricciardo recorded his maiden pole position in Formula 1 with an impressive lap around the tight, twisty street circuit in Monaco.

The Honey Badger’s lap of one minute, 13. 622 seconds was just spectacular and highlight the speed plus grip of the RB12 chassis.

This was Red Bull Racing’s first pole since the last V8-engined season of Formula 1 in 2013.

Championship leader Nico Rosberg will start second on the grid, just 0.169 seconds slower than Ricciardo. While Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton suffered a fuel pressure issue that hampered his Q3.

The reigning title winner recovered from this delay to come through into third. Ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel – who was quickest in Q1 – Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India and Kimi Raikkonen.

The Iceman qualified in sixth place but will drop a further five places on the grid following a gearbox change in the Ferrari.

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz recorded the seventh fastest time, a solid effort and only 0.017 seconds slower than Raikkonen.

Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat and Fernando Alonso in the McLaren-Honda completes the top ten at Monaco.

Valtteri Bottas missed out on a place in Q3 by 0.166 seconds as Williams elected to send its drivers out for a single run each in Q2.

Team-mate Felipe Massa was only 0.112 seconds slower but that was enough to leave him P14, behind Esteban Gutierrez and Jenson Button.

Gutierrez’s Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean was a strong eighth fastest in Q1, but failed to find any time in Q2, ending up over a tenth slower than his earlier best and down in P15.

Kevin Magnussen’s Renault completed the top 16, nearly half a second further back, but he is under investigation for jumping a red light at the end of the pitlane in Q1, so may get a penalty.

Marcus Ericsson missed out on a place in Q2 by just 0.046 seconds after losing a late battle with Magnussen’s Renault in Q1.

Team Banana’s Jolyon Palmer, which suffered rear wing damage from an off in final practice, was nearly three tenths further back in P18.

Rio Haryanto got the better of Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein by 0.147 seconds to qualify P19.

Wehrlein failed to improve by 0.030 seconds on his second Q1 run so wound up P20.

As for the Spanish Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen. This was a hero to zero moment. The Red Bull driver will start from the penultimate row after breaking his right-front suspension by clipping the inside barrier at the Swimming Pool chicane, then crashing heavily into the barriers.

He at least set a time before doing so. Felipe Nasr’s Sauber failed to even complete a flying lap after its Ferrari engine blew up on his out-lap.

Monaco Grand Prix, qualifying standings:

1    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m13.622s
2    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1m13.791s
3    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m13.942s
4    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m14.552s
5    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m14.726s
6    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m14.749s
7    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m14.902s
8    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m15.273s
9    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m15.363s
10    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m15.273s
11    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m14.732s*
12    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari    1m15.293s
13    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    1m15.352s
14    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m15.385s
15    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m15.571s
16    Kevin Magnussen    Renault    1m16.058s
17    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m16.299s
18    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m16.586s
19    Rio Haryanto    Manor-Mercedes    1m17.295s
20    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes    1m17.452s
21    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m22.467s
22    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    No time

*Five-place grid penalty for changing gearbox

4 thoughts to “Ricciardo achieves maiden pole in Monaco”

  1. Qualifying review as reported by Formula1.com:

    Daniel Ricciardo proved unstoppable on Saturday afternoon in Monte Carlo, clinching the first pole position of his F1 career and Red Bull’s first since Brazil 2013. By contrast, team mate Max Verstappen will start from the back of the grid after crashing out in Q1.

    Mercedes could do nothing to halt Ricciardo, with second-placed Nico Rosberg coming up two-tenths short and Lewis Hamilton a further tenth adrift. Further technical gremlins – thought to be fuel-pressure related – almost stymied the world champion, who did only one fast lap in Q3 to jump from 10th to third.

    Fourth place went to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, followed by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, and Kimi Raikkonen – set to lose five grid places after a gearbox change – in the second Ferrari. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Force India’s Sergio Perez, Daniil Kvyat in the second Toro Rosso, and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso completed the top ten.

    Q1 was only moments old, with drivers still on their out laps, when the Ferrari engine in Felipe Nasr’s Sauber blew up exiting the tunnel, leaving the Brazilian to coast down to the escape road with smoke billowing from the rear end. Out came the red flag, but only for five minutes as the excellent marshals completed a rapid clean-up job.

    Hamilton set the early pace before Vettel eased ahead, with Rosberg and Ricciardo in third and fourth, but there was another red flag when Verstappen went over the final exit kerb in the swimming pool section and then impacted with the outer wall at Turn 16, damaging his Red Bull for the second time in a few hours. It transpired that he had hit the inner wall of Turn 15 with his right-front wheel, damaging the track rod and leaving himself a passenger.

    That incident hurt Alonso too, whose first lap was ruined. When the session resumed, the Spaniard was the first man out, and he had made the top 10 by the end of the session before he got bumped to 11th by Haas’s Romain Grosjean. But he was safely through to Q2, as was Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, leaving Marcus Ericsson as the first faller for Sauber with 1m 16.299s, just ahead of Jolyon Palmer who redeemed himself with a solid 1m 16.586s in the Renault with the ‘old’ engine.

    Rio Haryanto again out-qualified Manor team mate Pascal Wehrlein, both happier with the steering weight on their MR05s after new parts had been flown in to alleviate complaints about heaviness associated with the revised rack needed here to give greater lock.

    Q2 belonged to Mercedes. Hamilton smashed his rivals immediately with a brilliant lap of 1m 14.056s, which left him well ahead of Vettel’s 1m 14.318s, Ricciardo’s 1m 14.357s (notably on supersoft tyres, with which he will start the race) and Rosberg’s 1m 14.491s, until right at the end Rosberg aced it with 1m 14.043s.

    Alonso also made Q3, but neither Williams nor Haas did. Valtteri Bottas was 11th on 1m 15.273s ahead of Esteban Gutierrez on 1m 15.293s, McLaren’s Jenson Button on 1m 15.352s, Felipe Massa on 1m 15.385s and Romain Grosjean on 1m 15.571s. Magnussen was 16th on 1m 16.058s.

    Unbelievably, as Hamilton left the garage at the start of Q3 he stopped before the pit exit complaining of no power, and his Mercedes was wheeled back.

    By the time it left again, with six minutes to go, Ricciardo had done a stunning lap of 1m 13.622s to Vettel’s 1m 14.522s, and then Rosberg went second with 1m 13.913s. Could the champion get back in the game?

    Ricciardo failed to improve on his second run, but despite brushing the same barrier as Verstappen earlier on, Rosberg squeaked down to 1m 13.791s, but after three slow laps Hamilton nailed it on his last one to jump from 10th to third with 1m 13.942s after a great effort.

    Neither Vettel nor Raikkonen improved, leaving them fourth and sixth on the timesheets, but Hulkenberg was another star, grabbing fifth for Force India with 1m 14.726s, as Sainz was Toro Rosso’s faster runner on 1m 14.749s in seventh ahead of Perez on 1m 14.902s. Kvyat’s session fell apart with 1m 15.273s, as Alonso took 10th on 1m 15.363s.

    For the first time since Singapore last September there isn’t a Mercedes on pole, and one way or another a great race is in prospect.

    Thus the provisional grid will line up: Ricciardo, Rosberg; Hamilton, Vettel; Hulkenberg, Sainz; Perez, Kvyat; Alonso, Bottas; Raikkonen, Gutierrez; Button, Massa; Grosjean, Magnussen; Ericsson, Palmer; Haryanto, Wehrlein; Verstappen, Nasr. It should be noted, however, that Magnussen is under investigation for exiting the pits against a red light.

  2. A fuel pressure problem affecting both Mercedes Formula 1 cars hampered Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton’s Monaco Grand Prix qualifying efforts.

    Though they eventually managed to qualify second and third behind Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, the champion team’s drivers both lost time at the start of Q3 in Monte Carlo.

    Rosberg was late out of the garage to start his first run, while Hamilton had to park his car at the pit exit and get pulled back to the garage by his crew.

    It was the third time in the last four grands prix that Hamilton had encountered a technical problem in Q3.

    “It was a difficult qualifying, I don’t really know what to say,” said Hamilton.

    “I did get out to get a lap, it was not as bad as some have been with respect of engine problems.

    “Pole was there for the taking.”

    The world champion believes a win from third on the grid is unlikely unless the weather changes, especially as poleman Ricciardo could run a long first stint on super-softs while the Mercedes are on ultra-softs during to their respective Q2 choices.

    “I’ll do what I can in the race to salvage what I can from today’s result,” said Hamilton.

    “If the car keeps going I’ll be fighting as hard as I can with these guys.

    “You can’t overtake here. Daniel is on a potentially better strategy than we’ll be on.

    “Hopefully it rains, that’ll be pretty amazing.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  3. Championship leader Nico Rosberg was surprised by the sheer pace of the Red Bull as Daniel Ricciardo recorded his maiden pole position in Monte Carlo. Autosport.com has the news story.

    Nico Rosberg says Daniel Ricciardo’s pace to take pole position for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix came as a surprise in the final part of qualifying.

    Ricciardo beat the Mercedes drivers to pole with a stunning 1m13.622s, and while Rosberg eventually got to within two tenths of a second of that time at the end of Q3, he said that by then he knew the Red Bull driver would be tough to beat to pole.

    “I was surprised by his time in the first part of Q3, I thought I was looking good with my time,” said Rosberg.

    “He was three tenths up the road [after the first runs]. I knew it would be difficult to reach.

    “I don’t think it went away from me – it was never with me.

    “He was just quick today, a well deserved pole. I wasn’t quick enough.

    “Red Bull have done a great job in recent races, they have progressed quickly and now made a big step with the engine.

    “They are a competitor – Ferrari is a competitor too – but Monaco is a unique track so let’s not jump to any conclusions.”

    Poleman Ricciardo will start the race on the super-soft tyre while those chasing him will be on the ultra-soft, after Red Bull decided to have him use the red-sidewalled tyres in Q2.

    “The plan was to go out on the ultra-soft on the first run and try to do a good enough lap,” said Ricciardo.

    “We had time on our side so I tried the super-soft – we feel it opens up a few more options for the race.

    “I don’t think there is too much difference in pure performance [between the compounds], but it should have a better tyre life.

    “It’s important to be in clean air here so it could open up a window and give us a bit more freedom.”

  4. Daniel Ricciardo’s performance in qualifying at Monaco was simply ‘amazing’ according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

    Ricciardo delivered a stunning lap of 1m 13.622s – only fractions shy of the fastest ever pole lap in the Principality – to secure the first P1 start of his career, with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton the only men able to get within half a second of the Australian.

    “Amazing. That first lap? Mighty!” an elated Horner said in appraisal of Ricciardo’s performance. “The first two laps in Q3 were just dynamite.

    “He has been driving sensationally all weekend – just so clean, and the lap times just rolled together for him. It’s a great moment for him with his first pole – and for us, with our first pole since [the Brazilian season finale in] 2013. A great way to start the weekend.”

    Having talked up his chances of pole all weekend, Ricciardo said he knew his lap would be difficult to beat as soon as he completed it.

    “I knew we had a shot [of pole] – I had it in my mind the whole time, and we looked good on Thursday too,” he explained.

    “I put it together when I needed to. Qualifying built up and up, I found a rhythm, and that lap in Q3 was the one. I knew after I had done it that it would be hard to beat.

    “This place more than ever is the one you want to do. I came in with a lot of confidence and belief that I could be in this position now, so I’m happy to fulfil that. It feels good!”

    Asked about what impact the forecast rain could have on his race – and in particular the fact he will be the only front-running driver to start on the supersoft tyre, having set his best Q2 lap on the red-striped rubber – Ricciardo added: “Today we’re sitting pretty, so hopefully it turns in our favour tomorrow.

    “[The supersoft decision] seemed like a freebie for us – we did a good enough lap on the [ultrasofts], so we thought we’d see what happened – and it worked. Today the job was pole and I have done that; whatever happens tomorrow it’s the same for everyone. I’ve done what I can so far.”

    Source: Formula1.com

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