Monaco GP: Ricciardo Powers to Dominant Pole


Daniel Ricciardo will start the Monaco Grand Prix from pole after dominating qualifying while Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen will line up at the back. Red Bull could not repair Verstappen’s car in time to get him out after a practice crash, leaving Ricciardo to blitz Mercedes and Ferrari.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beat Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to second. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fourth ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas as Force India’s Esteban Ocon took sixth.

Red Bull have dominated the weekend so far and looked set to lock out the front row until Verstappen’s costly error in final practice.

The Dutchman caught the inside wall at the second Swimming Pool chicane with his right front tyre and catapulted into the barriers on the outside.

The impact damaged both front and rear suspension on the right-hand side of the car and the damage was too extensive to be fixed in the two hours and 15 minutes between the end of practice and when he would have needed to get out to do a lap in first qualifying.

To add insult to injury, Verstappen has a five-place grid penalty for an unauthorised gearbox change because the team discovered a leak as they were preparing the car for qualifying, but it is academic as he will start from the back anyway.

One Red Bull driver always looked set for pole after Ricciardo set the pace in all the practice sessions leading up to qualifying, each time just pipping Verstappen.

After Verstappen ruled himself out, making an error for the sixth race in a row and raising questions about whether he needs to change his approach to his racing, Ricciardo was in a league of his own and was fastest in all three parts of qualifying.