Record-breaking Ricciardo takes second Monaco pole

MONACO • Daniel Ricciardo had the perfect build-up ahead of today's Monaco Grand Prix - finishing fastest in all three practice sessions and fastest in all three sections of qualifying.

Yet the Red Bull driver was not satisfied when he took pole position yesterday, saying through his radio: "50 per cent done, let's do this **** tomorrow."

The Australian, who set a track record of 1min 10.810sec, later added: "It's good. We sent a statement on Thursday and been quickest in every session.

"The race tomorrow and then we will celebrate. There is still a lot of fire in this belly. I've done everything I can so far, let's finish the job tomorrow. I'm pumped."

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, last year's race winner, joined Ricciardo on the front row with world championship leader Lewis Hamilton third for Mercedes.

Neither man could match the Australian's pace, with Vettel 0.229sec slower and Hamilton 0.422sec behind Ricciardo.

Ricciardo's pole was his second in three years in the principality, and second of his career, with the 28-year-old fastest in 2016 qualifying but losing the race to Hamilton after a botched pit stop.

  • MONACO GP GRID

  • 1ST ROW

    1 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari

  • 2ND ROW

    3 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 4 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari

  • 3RD ROW

    5 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 6 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India

  • 4TH ROW

    7 Fernando Alonso (Esp) McLaren 8 Carlos Sainz (Esp) Renault

  • 5TH ROW

    9 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 10 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Toro Rosso

  • SELECTED

    20 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull

Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen could not take part in qualifying after a crash in practice.

"It feels a little bittersweet. We're delighted with pole but we should have had two cars up there. It's frustrating with such a fast car not to have both cars on the front row of the grid," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said.

"Max's car was fired up and then we saw an oil leak in the gearbox which had been hidden and that was it. They did their best to get the gearbox replaced, which would have been a five-place penalty, but I have to say both car crews did everything that they could to make it happen. Today unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"Nobody will be more frustrated than Max. He should have been competing for the front row."

Hamilton, who is chasing a hat-trick of wins after Azerbaijan and Spain, said: "Congratulations to Daniel. They've had the pace all weekend.

"I gave it everything I could. I was up a little bit on the last lap but wasn't able to hold on to it.

"It's still a long race ahead of us tomorrow. I don't think Red Bull have tried the other tyres yet so it will be interesting to see how we all go."

Hamilton leads Vettel by 17 points after five rounds of the 21-race championship heading into today's race.

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 27, 2018, with the headline 'Record-breaking Ricciardo takes second Monaco pole'. Print Edition | Subscribe