Daniel Ricciardo has taken a surprising pole for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver out qualified Mercedes Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton by two tenths of a second. Hamilton who appeared to run into reliability problems during the session.
The Mercedes duo couldn’t respond the strong performance from Red Bull which they spent much of Thursday and Friday trying to understand. Hamilton problems began at the beginning of Q3 when he was force to stop after his car lost power at the end of the pit lane.
Ricciardo felt he could of beaten his team-mate Max Verstappen who won the last race in Barcelona. Verstappen failed to qualify after dropping out in Q1 and was over 107% and will only be allowed to race at the steward’s digression.
Verstappen brought out the second red flag after going off at turn 16 But it is likely he will start the race as he shown through practice that he has the pace to start. He hit front tyre on entry to turn fifteen which he couldn’t correct before hitting the rear pit wall breaking his front suspension.
“I turned in a bit too early so I clipped the wall and broke the suspension as I hit the wall,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.
Hamilton’s woes have affected him in the last four races before he had an accident with Rosberg last time out when they crashed out. He told BBC News “I don’t really know what to say right now. It was a difficult qualifying but the good thing is I did get out to do a lap, so it is not as bad as some of the races have been.”
“I’m grateful to be up in third and I will do what I can to salvage what I can from today’s result.”
Team boss Toto Wolff says there was the same feul pressure issue on Rosberg’s car, although the German was able to complete both of his planned runs.
Sebastian Vettel qualified fourth for Ferrari while Kimi Räikkönen was sixth after being pipped by the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg. However because of an unscheduled gearbox change he will have to drop five places.
As ever drama wasn’t far away and didn’t take long for the streets to claim their first casualty Felipe Nasr engine blew up on the exit of the tunnel leaving the Brazilian to run down the escape road with smoke billowing out which brought the red flag.
Fernando Alonso showed McLaren had pace but both cars fell short of getting them both through to Q3. They expected to be ahead of the Force India and Toro Rossos.