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