Ricciardo Takes Pole Position At The Monaco Grand Prix
Ricciardo has taken pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix.
A favourite amongst F1 fans, the Monaco Grand Prix takes place tomorrow but the practice is of so much importance, as the odds of winning the race from lower than P4 are extremely thin.
The Monaco Grand Prix is my second favourite race - just behind the ever-entertaining Azerbaijan GP. The track is unforgiving, and a city race with so much history.
It was an action-packed weekend before the qualifying took place. Verstappen had an unfortunate crash in the third practice session, and his engineers were racing to make sure his car could get him a decent qualifying position. Unfortunately, they had to change his gearbox pre-qualifying meaning that he will face a five-place grid penalty.
As Q1 came to an end, it became clear that this wouldn’t matter as Verstappen failed to make it out in Qualifying and will therefore start at the back of the grid, regardless of his grid penalty.
A beautiful day for such a picturesque race, and the qualifying did not disappoint.
Brendon Hartley was the first to record a time of 1:14. It wasn’t long before Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas and Alonso recorded very quick times.
Just two minutes into Q1 and Vettel was fastest with a 1:13.165. Raikkonen was having a few issues with traffic and this was echoed over the radio to his team as he told them that a Mercedes was blocking him, and that it had ruined his lap.
Other issues over the radio came from Lance Stroll who said that his headrest was loose, but not dangerous enough to sacrifice his lap, or qualifying.
With six minutes left of qualifying, Ricciardo was fastest with a 1:12.013 followed by Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen.
Out of Q1: Verstappen (no time recorded), Hartley, Ericsson, Stroll and Magnussen.
Q2 and both Bottas and Hamilton have gone out on the ultra-soft tyres, and it seems like they are retreating, and preparing for the race rather than a top-qualifying position on the front of the grid.
It’s a gamble, but if they want to run longer on their first stint of the race tomorrow, and they have resigned themselves to a second or third-line grid position, it might may off in the long run tomorrow.
It seems everyone followed their logic in Q2, as almost every driver came out on the ultra-soft tyres.
Ricciardo recorded a 1:11.30. With 8 minutes left, Hamilton comes back into the pits to change his tyres. It was a relatively drama-free Q2, with Hulkenberg, Vandoorne, Sirotkin, Leclerc and Grosjean missing out on Q1.
Getting into Q3 for the second time this season was Pierre Gasly who has been surprising everyone with his superb driving for Force India.
Kevin Magnussen, who will start 19th this weekend after two finishes in the points this season, speaks to Sky Sports:
A bit of a shock this weekend after being so good last weekend and so competitive. We are really struggling we just can't put the finger on tyres not working, it is just lacking pace and we can't seem to find it in any way. We have tried a hell of a lot of things but it is not easy."
Ricciardo made history in Q3. He is the first driver to get into the 1.10s.
With just three minutes left of the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying, Ricciardo was leading Hamilton and Vettel. It was Hamilton who was looking good in the final few seconds, but couldn’t go faster than Ricciardo or Vettel.
As it currently stands, here are the grid positions for the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix.
#1: Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull/Renault - 1:10.810
#2: Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:11.039
#3: Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:11.232
#4: Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1:11.266
#5: Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 1:11.441
#6: Esteban Ocon - Force India/Mercedes - 1:12.061
#7: Fernando Alonso - McLaren/Renault - 1:12.110
#8: Carlos Sainz - Renault - 1:12.130
#9: Sergio Perez - Force India/Mercedes - 1:12.154
#10: Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso/Honda - 1:12.221
#11: Nico Hulkenberg - Renault - 1:12.411
#12: Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren/Renault - 1:12.440
#13: Sergey Sirotkin - Williams/Mercedes - 1:12.521
#14: Charles Leclerc - Sauber/Ferrari - 1:12.714
#15: Romain Grosjean - Haas/Ferrari - 1:12.728
#16: Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso/Honda - 1:13.179
#17: Marcus Ericsson - Sauber/Ferrari - 1:13.265
#18: Lance Stroll - Williams/Mercedes - 1:13.323
#19: Kevin Magnussen - Haas/Ferrari - 1:13.393
#20: Max Verstappen - Red Bull/Renault - NO TIME
I will be watching on Channel 4 from 2pm tomorrow.