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Ricciardo seals Monaco pole as Verstappen misses qualifying

Daniel Ricciardo

Monaco, May 26: Daniel Ricciardo continued his dominance at the Monaco Grand Prix by securing pole position for Sunday's race, but Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen will start from the back of the grid.

Ricciardo topped the timesheets in all three practice sessions and there was no change to the script as he went fastest in qualifying, though an FP3 crash on Saturday morning left Verstappen's RB14 with gearbox damage that ruled him out of Q1.

A lap record of one minute, 10.810 seconds saw Ricciardo finish top of the pile and he will be joined on the front row by Sebastian Vettel, with championship leader Lewis Hamilton – winner of the last two grands prix – only able to take third.

The Australian will be hoping to avoid the misfortune that has blighted him in Monaco over the past two years. In 2016 a pit-stop blunder cost him the top step on the podium, while last season he was released into traffic in Q3 and felt he was denied a shot at pole.

Vettel was unable to match Ricciardo's pace but he was able to lock Hamilton out of the front row, with Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen taking fourth ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes failed in a strategic move in Q2. Hamilton and Bottas were in the elimination zone after being sent out on ultrasoft tyres, but after heading back to the pits and joining the rest of the field on the hypersoft compound they booked passage to the final session.

Just 0.005secs separated Hamilton – provisionally in second – and Raikkonen, with Vettel in between, but the German leapt in front of the Mercedes driver with his last lap.

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:10.810secs 2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:11.039s 3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:11.232s 4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:11.266s 5. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1:11.441s 6. Esteban Ocon (Force India) 1:12.061s 7. Fernando Alonso (McLaren) 1:12.119s 8. Carlos Sainz Jr (Renault) 1:12.130s 9. Sebastian Perez (Force India) 1:12.154s 10. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) 1:12.221s

Source: OPTA

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Story first published: Saturday, May 26, 2018, 20:00 [IST]
Other articles published on May 26, 2018
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