Its been a perfect weekend thus far for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. He was fastest in both practice sessions on Thursday then followed that up with being P1 in Saturday’s third Formula One practice session on the Monte Carlo street circuit. In qualifying, he couldn’t be touched, as Ricciardo broke the track record en route to his second career pole award. Ironically enough, both of his F1 poles have come in Monaco.
Ricciardo, circled the famous street course with a time of 1:10.810-seconds. The only thing going against Ricciardo this weekend is that he’s never won a race from inside the top two rows of the starting lineup. Also, Lewis Hamilton will start in third. While that’s normally a good thing for Ricciardo, two of Hamilton’s Monaco victories came while starting in the third spot. Hamilton, had a qualifying time of 1:11.232-seconds in his No. 44 Mercedes.
Joining Ricciardo on the front row Sebastian Vettel who turned in a lap of 1:11.039-seconds in his No. 5 Ferrari. Last year, Vettel won the race as he and his teammate Kimi Raikkonen gave Ferrari a 1-2 finish. Speaking of Raikkonen, he will roll off fourth on Sunday while Valtteri Bottas rounds out the top five.
Max Versappen had a great shot at giving Red Bull a front row lockout, but he crashed in the morning practice and never got to make a qualifying attempt. He will start last in 20th.
There’s also this, the previous 64 F1 races in Monaco, the winner has come from the top three 54 times. The last time a driver won from lower than that – and the only time since 1985 – was Olivier Panis’ win from 14th in 1996. So, Saturday’s qualifying round could set up Sunday’s winner which is means Ricciardo, Vettel or Hamilton will win.
Monaco Grand Prix Starting Lineup
Row 1: Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel
Row 2: Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen
Row 3: Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon
Row 4: Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz
Row 5: Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly R
Row 6: Nico Hulkenberg, Stoffel Vandoorne
Row 7: Sergey Sirtokin R, Charles Leclerc R
Row 8: Romain Grosjean, Brendon Hartley R
Row 9: Marcus Ericsson, Lance Stroll
Row 10: Kevin Magnussen, Max Verstappen