Monaco GP: Ricciardo’s first-ever Pole position

Daniel Ricciardo secured his maiden Pole Position in Formula 1 today at the Monaco Grand Prix. If you were going to take your first pole, what better place to do it?

Red Bull was very confident in the lead up to this weekend and their chassis was spot on for qualifying. Here is a link to the on-board video of his pole position lap.

It wasn’t an easy qualifying session for either Mercedes driver but perhaps the more unnerving session belongs to Lewis Hamilton who had a fuel pressure issue at the beginning of Q3 as he set off to make his first run in the session. Lewis seemed to have the stuffing taken out of him during the post qualifying interviews and was very deflated.

Lewis managed to stop before pit exit and the team did a good job of hustling the world champ back to the garage to remedy the situation. Regardless, he did not manage pole and will star third behind his teammate, Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg didn’t manage pole position either as Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was the fastest man on circuit taking his first pole position at Monaco no less. The Red Bulls looked daunting all weekend long and may have been even more of a factor in the race had Ricciardo’s teammate, Max Verstappen, not clouted the wall in Q2 ending his qualifying session.

For Ferrari, the team looked competitive but not in contention for pole position with Vettel saying his car got worse as time advanced in Q3 and his teammate Kimi Raikkonen will suffer a 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

For me, I expected Red Bull to do well here given how good their chassis is but the talk of qualifying in my mind is not only the incredible performance of Ricciardo but that of Force India and Toro Rosso as well.

Nico Hulkenberg threw down a stonking lap and split the Ferrari duo to start 5th with Sergio Perez in 8th. Force India’s new upgrades do seem to be working around Monaco at least and they need a good result.

Toro Rosso did a wonderful job in the hands of Carlos Sainz who will start 7th and Daniil Kvyat who will start 9th.

The final position is for McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and that 10th place qualifying effort seems to betray Eric Boullier and Ron Dennis’s commentary about the car having the third best chassis on the grid…better than Ferrari’s chassis. Kimi’s 5-place grid penalty will still see him start ahead of Jenson Button.

Marcus Ericsson missed out on a place in Q2 by just 0.046s but he still managed to best his teammate, Felipe Nasr (Paul Charsley’s man) who suffered engine failure in Q1.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Ricciardo Red Bull 1:13.622 101.391 mph
2 Rosberg Mercedes 1:13.791 0.169
3 Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.942 0.320
4 Vettel Ferrari 1:14.552 0.930
5 Hulkenberg Force India 1:14.726 1.104
6 Raikkonen Ferrari 1:14.732 1.110
7 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:14.749 1.127
8 Perez Force India 1:14.902 1.280
9 Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:15.273 1.651
10 Alonso McLaren 1:15.363 1.741
11 Bottas Williams 1:15.273
12 Gutierrez Haas 1:15.293
13 Button McLaren 1:15.352
14 Massa Williams 1:15.385
15 Grosjean Haas 1:15.571
16 Magnussen Renault 1:16.058
17 Ericsson Sauber 1:16.299
18 Palmer Renault 1:16.586
19 Haryanto Manor 1:17.295
20 Wehrlein Manor 1:17.452
21 Verstappen Red Bull 1:22.467
22 Nasr Sauber No Time