Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo takes his maiden pole position round the streets of Monaco ahead of Mercedes’s Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton as Max Verstappen crashes out Q1.
Raikkonen already on the back foot
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has a 5 place grid penalty heading into the toughest qualifying session as he had to change his gearbox. Raikkonen, was 9th in the 3rd practise session, 8 places behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Manor’s Rio Haryanto is the first car along with others exiting the pit lane and out on track. With 16 minutes to go Sauber’s Felipe Nasr’s engine has blown up as he exited the tunnel! He stops and the session is red flagged with a crane lifting the Sauber off the track. The session is restarted and Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez is the first to set a lap time of a 1:17:126. Lewis Hamilton takes two laps to set a time of a 1:14:831. Sebastian Vettel sets the quickest time of the session with a 1:14:610. With 6 minutes and 38 seconds to go, Spanish GP winner, Max Verstappen has crashed is sector 3 and brings out the red flag. The replay shows he hit the barrier at turn 15 and that broke a part of his front right suspension then he could not turn the car and ploughed into the barrier at turn 16. The session gets going again with McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso out first. Sebastian Vettel is quickest ahead of lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Out: Nasr – 22nd, Verstappen – 21st, Wehrlein – 20th, Haryanto – 19th, Palmer – 18th and Ericsson – 17th.
Torro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat is the first car out on track and sets the first lap of a 1:27:029. Lewis Hamilton smashes Kvyat’s time and does a 1:14:056. As shown in 2015, Williams struggle here as it does not suit their car. This shows with 2 minutes to go both cars of Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa can not crack into the top 10. Both do not get into the final session along with McLaren Honda’s Jenson Button.
Out: Magnussen – 16th, Grosjean – 15th, Massa – 14th, Button – 13th, Gutierrez – 12th and Bottas – 11th.
Daniel Ricciardo is the first out on track but Lewis Hamilton has pulled over in the pit lane! Problems for the world champion? Yes, he tells the team radio that there is a problem with his engine, again! His Mercedes mechanic’s come running down the pit lane and wheel him back in to the garage. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg puts in the first lap time of a 1:15:120. But then Daniel Ricciardo on what is a blistering lap puts in the fastest lap of the session and is on for pole position with a 1:13:622! With 6 minutes and 30 seconds to go Lewis Hamilton is back out on track and is on the hunt for pole position. We are informed that it was a high fuel temperature on his and team-mate Nico Rosberg’s engines. Hamilton of course was worse and Rosberg is sitting 2nd behind Ricciardo. Hamilton is purple and quickest in the 1st and 2nd sector, but could he take pole? No, he can’t. His 3rd and final sector wasn’t good and ends up 3rd behind Rosberg and pole sitter Ricciardo.
Top 10: Alonso – 10th, Kvyat – 9th, Perez – 8th, Sainz – 7th, Raikkonen – 6th, Hulkenberg – 5th, Vettel – 4th.
Top 3: Hamilton – 3rd, Rosberg – 2nd and Ricciardo – 1st.
1.Ricciardo 2.Rosberg 3.Hamilton 4.Vettel 5.Hulkenberg 6.Sainz 7.Perez 8.Kvyat* 9.Alonso 10.Bottas 11.Raikkonen* 12.Gutierrez 13.Button 14.Massa 15.Grosjean 16.Magnussen* 17.Ericsson 18.Palmer 19.Haryanto 20.Wehrlein 21.Verstappen 22.Nasr
Kvyat* was under a stewards inquiry for failing a floor deflection test but wasn’t given a penalty as Torro Rosso provided enough evidence for the stewards not to give a penalty.
Raikkonen* was given a 5 place grid penalty for an gearbox change at the end of practise 3. 6th – 11th.
Magnussen* was under investigation by the stewards in Q1 for running a red light at the end of the pit lane. He escaped without penalty.
Ricciardo bounces back with first ever pole
Having left Spain disappointed due to the teams strategy left him 4th after leading, Daniel Ricciardo bounced back and took his first ever pole position in Monaco. Ricciardo, topped practise 2 ahead of both Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. He repeated this today and hopes his tyre choice pays off in the race.