Daniel Ricciardo storms to dominant pole position at Monaco Grand Prix
Monaco Grand Prix - Qualifying

Daniel Ricciardo storms to dominant pole position at Monaco Grand Prix

26/05/2018

Daniel Ricciardo claimed pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix with the fastest lap ever witnessed around the famous street circuit.

The Red Bull driver was 0.229s clear of Sebastian Vettel in second place and faced no opposition from teammate Max Verstappen after damage to the Dutchman's car following a crash in final practice proved too extensive to repair in time for qualifying. Lewis Hamilton will line up third on the grid after setting a time 0.422s off Ricciardo.

Ricciardo's lap could become the stuff of F1 legend as the cars are expected to be 1.5s per lap slower next year in the hope of improving overtaking. All three sectors of the 1:10.846 lap were impressive but it was in the high-speed final sector -- where bravery is rewarded for skimming the walls at the Swimming Pool chicane -- that Ricciardo made the biggest difference. And to prove how small the margins are at this circuit, it was that very same section of track where teammate Verstappen had his disastrous crash in final practice.

Vettel had no response for Ricciardo's time despite improving on his second attempt in Q3 to move ahead of championship leader Hamilton, who did not improve on his second flying lap. Kimi Raikkonen, who took pole position last year, had to settle for fourth place, just 0.034s off Hamilton and 0.175s clear of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

Esteban Ocon took sixth place on the grid for Force India ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso and the Renault of Carlos Sainz. Sergio Perez was ninth fastest with Pierre Gasly rounding off the top ten for Toro Rosso.

Nico Hulkenberg missed out on a place in the top ten by 0.098s and will start 11th on the grid alongside McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne. Sergey Sirotkin showed impressive pace in the struggling Williams throughout practice and qualifying and will start 13th ahead of Charles Leclerc who qualified his Sauber in 14th at the first home grand prix of his career. Romain Grosjean was 15th fastest but will drop to 18th once his penalty for causing a first-lap pile-up at the last round in Spain is applied.

Brendon Hartley was knocked out of the first part of qualifying despite showing promising pace throughout practice this weekend. He will start ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who was 0.436s off teammate Charles Leclerc, and 0.058s ahead of an underwhelming performance from Lance Stroll in the second Williams. Kevin Magnussen will also be disappointed after only managing 19th on the grid, with a lap time 0.463s off his teammate Romain Grosjean, who will start ahead of him once his penalty is applied. The Dane will line up on the back row of the grid alongside Verstappen in last place.

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