F1 Winter Break
Ricciardo faultless in taking Monaco F1 pole as Verstappen fails to participate
Posted By: Editor   |  26 May 2018   |  4:02 pm GMT  |  105 comments

With no team-mate to challenge him, Daniel Ricciardo emphatically claimed his second career pole position ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton on the streets of Monaco.

Both of Ricciardo’s pole positions have come at the Principality and, due to the pace shown by Red Bull this weekend, he’s well-placed to become a Monaco Grand Prix winner, an accolade that eluded him through no fault of his own just two years ago.

With Red Bull the firm favourites to secure their first pole position of the season, Ricciardo’s task was made easier by Verstappen’s inability to compete in the qualifying session. A crash in free practice three ruled his car out of qualifying, and the Dutchman will start the race from the back of the grid.

This opened the door for either Mercedes or Ferrari to place a car on the front row of the grid, and the opportunity was seized by Vettel with his final lap of qualifying.

Hamilton will start the race in third ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Qualifying Session One

The biggest shock of the session effectively happened before qualifying had even started; Max Verstappen crashed out of the final free practice session and the team were unable to repair the car in time for the first part of qualifying, meaning Verstappen will start from the back of the grid at possibly Red Bull’s strongest circuit of the year.

In the final ten minutes of FP3, Verstappen made an error in the second part of the swimming pool section, clipping his right-front wheel against the inside of the second chicane to send his car careering into the barrier on the exit.

The Dutchman’s car also required a gearbox change, earning him a five-place grid penalty and meaning that, even before qualifying, he would’ve started no better than sixth.

“I got caught a bit off-guard, but that’s not an excuse, and I hit the wall,” said Verstappen after qualifying.

“This is my mistake, so it’s not what you’d like to happen, but unfortunately it happens.”

Due to the low tyre degradation at Monaco, a busy Q1 session saw drivers complete multiple flying laps on a given set of tyres, therefore each runner had plenty of attempts to set their best time.

Perhaps the next surprise from Q1 was that Brendon Hartley wasn’t able to convert the early Toro Rosso pace into a better qualifying result. He finished the qualifying hour in sixteenth place, ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, Williams’ Lance Stroll and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who continued to struggle for one-lap pace this weekend.

Qualifying Session Two

In a bid to find some way of overcoming the pace of the Red Bulls and the Ferraris this weekend, Mercedes initially attempted to progress to Q3 on the ultrasoft tyres.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were the only drivers to try this, but with neither of them able to set a time good enough for the top ten, they aborted the idea and made a switch to the hypersofts in order to secure a place in Q3.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg missed out on Q3 by just one tenth of a second to line up eleventh, ahead of McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin.

Local driver Charles Leclerc qualified in fourteenth place for his first Formula One home race, whilst Romain Grosjean was unable to alter Haas’ sub-par weekend by qualifying in fifteenth, although he will start three places further back due to his penalty for the Spanish Grand Prix opening lap crash.

Qualifying Session Three

Such was the advantage Ricciardo had over his rivals, both of his Q3 laps were good enough for pole position. His opening flying lap of 1:10.810 was the first sub-1:10 lap of the weekend and a new track record at the Circuit de Monte-Carlo.

Hamilton initially held second place, with himself and the two Ferraris separated by just five thousandths of a second, but Vettel’s second flying lap put the Ferrari on the front row.

No further improvements from Raikkonen and Bottas ensured Hamilton kept hold of third place.

Following a relatively quiet start to the weekend for the Force India team, Esteban Ocon qualified at the front of the midfield, ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Renault’s Carlos Sainz, team-mate Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, with just two tenths of a second between sixth and tenth.

1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m10.810s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m11.039s 0.229s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m11.232s 0.422s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m11.266s 0.456s
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m11.441s 0.631s
6 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m12.061s 1.251s
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m12.110s 1.300s
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m12.130s 1.320s
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m12.154s 1.344s
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m12.221s 1.411s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m12.411s 1.601s
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m12.440s 1.630s
13 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m12.521s 1.711s
14 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m12.714s 1.904s
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m12.728s 1.918s
16 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m13.179s 2.369s
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m13.265s 2.455s
18 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m13.323s 2.513s
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m13.393s 2.583s
20 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault No Time

All images: Motorsport Images

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Well done RICCIARDO FAULTLESS – indeed, what a lot of nonsense he had a fault – he slowed down the pace of the whole race, if Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Uncle Nigel and real drivers not this hoity toity Hamilton play station era drivers, were still driving, they would with those bigger cars drive circles around them. I am watching F1 over 36 years and its becoming honky tonky, real american twang, boring like NASCAR turn left, and than turn left and than turn left and than turn left, well you catch my tonky. Americans politicalize the whole F1 even removing the beautiful models, they also have the right to an income whom are they to minimize the exposure of these models – P.S, I am pro beautiful woman as they are a gift. secondly this 3 engine rule let them build what they want, if the current owners want to sanction – say the top 3 (irrespective what manufacturer) should not have any sponsors, as the principal manufacturer would run the costs of development, and the lower teams through sponsors will do their development at no limit – sponsor driver. F1 is a showcase of technical advancement reducing the engine is silly, why dont they reduce fuel consumption to only 10L per race, never, please dont. F1 is the pinnacle of racing dont mess. I dont think F1 is keeping me interested, they tend to over exasperate the race to extend the 3 hours prior the race, a 30 min qualifying recap is sufficient on race day – race – 30 min race recap. Too much is not good. I dont enjoy this. no refueling is making a boring race, reducing the number of crew servicing the car will bring in some sort of dilemma. this will keep me looking and focused. thanks for the opportunity to discuss my feelings to F1 and the boring cherry pudding these American owners got in store for us Americanized, oh no, keep it up to date – remove this ugly Halo please.



I fell in love with F1 watching NBC coverage. I am falling out of love with this 2018 coverage in the US. Announcers are annoying… Contemplating just muting them. Pre-race is embarrassingly bad. I would pay to listen to Hobbs and co again.


Dude! Oh no. I knew this would happen. Heartbreaking.

Nice guys do finish last.

….RIC is still running as I write this. 48 laps left…too much?


Grosjean and Verstappen colliding would be a very safe bet, then a safety car. Then the race outcome will be decided. The old and the next Grosjean then get to meet properly.


So Danny Ric has to save Redbull once again.

Well done DR, go get em!!

Richard Mortimer


How quickly things change in F1, motor racing in general, and probably all sport? (Even snooker)?

Max was on top at the end of last year and Daniel R was looking a bit ‘stuck!’

Not so now…. good win!

I remember when they allowed TKM’s and Dartford Karting’s (Solo) Rotax copies in 100 Britain. Meant everyone had to go out a buy new motors!

Actually, they created a ‘Clubman’ 100 Britain class for the old engines. Pretty frustrating though, I had a bank of good engines, so had to choose to race them in the ‘budget’ class or buy new!


That was weird, the quali report appeared on Saturday afternoon, and then disappeared until this morning.

Congratulations to Dan on his second Monaco pole, I hope he gets the win this time as he does deserve it. Max really needed a clean weekend, but didn’t deliver, his season is reaching crisis point now, what can he change? His fp3 crash was virtually identical to his crash in quali in 2016, a poor effort it has to be said.

Good job from all the team leaders, Dan was faultless, Seb didn’t have the car to challenge for pole, and Lewis did well to split the Ferraris. Occon is best of the rest and Gasly gets the spotlight back from Leclerc!

It is forecast to stay dry for the race, so maybe not much will happen, but it will be fun watching these cars go round, they were scary quick through the Tabac/swimming pool section.


There was a time when Monaco Grand Prix was something else…an biter sweet F1 symphony of incredible F1 sound experience. Maybe you didn’t get passing but the F1 sound experience was simply spine tingling.

Sadly, it is no longer the case, and it had me quite surprised about the amount of empty seats during quali.


The Red Bulls were in a league of their own from FP1. It’s unfortunate about Max, but sadly not unexpected. With 10mins to go in FP3, it should be all about bringing the car home, Monaco rarely forgives.
Great job by Ocon, he literally sneaked in there, FI got better as the weekend progressed. I have to say, after FP3, I expected Fernando to struggle to get into Q2! He’s been largely anonymous all weekend, with Stoffel seemingly on top. I heard he (Stoffel) had some issues that compromised him in qualifying, could have made the top 10. Hope it’s a good race, as good as Monaco can be…


I’m writing this at 6:43 pm Sunday, Australian east coast time. The race starts in about 3 hours.

It will be just under 28 hours before I see a 1 hour highlight package.

I hope I can avoid all reports till then, so that I can watch without knowing the result.

So thank you Channel 10 Australia, thank you Rupert Murdoch, thank you Foxtel & thank you Liberty Media.

I hope you all choke on a vegetable & have to wait 28 hours before getting any relief.

Go Danny Ric.


The coverage on Foxtel was fantastic, best video quality ever for Monaco.


FYI – it isn’t live on free TV as it normally is in US either. It gets a replay after the Indy 500.

It’s all a mess for the “crown jewel” of F1.

I think the free 5 minute highlight package comes out sooner on youtube.


It’s like the old ban on Sunday trading Mick!

You run out of something…you wait until monday.

I had hoped that the F1 TV would be an option -all be it via a VPN because we are geoblocked from that as well….but that seems to be sh!t as well!

What a way to promote and deliver a sport!


You watch the highlights?

Myself? I don’t bother – If I’m going to watch a race then I want to watch the whole race, but these days:

“Race should be finished now, time to check JA…”


“Ricciardo won and Verstappen crashed out again…sweet” 😀


Back to whatever it was that I was doing…

You get much the same result and it’s much more efficient 🙂


Quali recap took about 28 hours on JAonF1 this time around. 🙂

Jonathan powell

Great lap Danny Ric!

I normally watch skysports coverage but watched quali on channel4 and have to say i enjoyed it…the feature where DC and Webber went rallying with the Sainz family and Karun then driving Keke Rosbergs ’83 car around Monaco were great!

Real shame when they wont have the coverage from next season


How familiar it all feels this time of year. Ferrari suspected to be hiding something behind smoke and mirrors (literally this year) and Verstappen crash into the barriers in almost the very same fashion as last year (very consistent in doing that). Great starting order though. Maybe Kimi could overcut Vettel this year just to even things out in the Ferrari karma situation. Tyres might be the only thing to spice the racing up, probably a safety car also, perhaps a crash between Max and Grosjean.


Odds of Verstappen crashing into someone: This season, reasonable.

Odds of Verstappen crashing into someone trying to get through the entire field: Likely.

Odds of Verstappen crashing into someone trying to get through the entire field at Monaco: Have the brooms on standby.

Best of luck to the guy, really, but if he doesn’t bump into someone I’ll be very, very surprised 😐


The qualification result illustrates in bold capital letters the difference between Ricciardo and Verstappen and who gets the job done!
…and for once Helmut is staying quiet…
Should Gasly or Hartley have a go for their first win in a Red Bull?
Why not, just maybe for a race or two? Kvyat got less chance before he got switched out.
Oh yeah its right, the excuse that Verstappen is still soo young. He is only 20 and he will learn. Well, Kvyat was only 21 when dropped and had much less experience.

Verstappen’s number of incidents and subsequent results this season so far are appalling, considering he has a car capable of winning races:
Australia – spun in the race.
Bahrain – spun out in qualification (15th)
Bahrain – crashed with Hamilton in the race (retired, no penalty)
China – crashed with Vettel in the race (10-second penalty)
Baku – crashed with Ricciardo in the race (retired, reprimanded)
Spain – crashed with Stroll in the race (front wing damage)
Monaco – crashed in FP3 and missed qualification (starting back of the grid)

It should have been a RedBull front row start for the race tomorrow, and a most likely race win to one of them and a podium to the other. Lets hope Ricciardo gets justice for what so unfortunately eluded him two years ago in MC and show his teammate and all how it should be done when having a race win capable car at your disposal.

Only positive we can say about Verstappen’s situation is that we are bound to see some aggressive driving and risk taking for him to torpedo himself up through the field tomorrow. It will probably go well for him until he finds another opponent who as himself is as willing to crash than finish 11th. Mad Max’s racing strategy of being willing to crash while assuming the others are not will only take him so far.
And so far this season that has not come to much.

He has talent, but can it be tamed to consistently deliver results in the real world?


Hi all,

Well, another sublime driving lesson from Danny Ricc on how to achieve a dominate outcome, while ensuring 100% safety to all around him AND keeping the car in one piece. One can see why Ricciardo is so highly respected by Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Botas and the other elites. as one who can ALWAYS be trusted to pull off a passing attack in a professional and safe manner.

Turning now to team mate Max Verstappen. Well, it’s now 6 crashes out of 6 and RBR can no longer maintain the ‘do nothing’ option. This guy is way out of his depth and should never have been promoted to the elite team level when he was (I suspect we can thank Helmut Marco for this major strategic error?) They’re not only paying this kid an obscene salary (way above Ricciardo’s?) but they’re loosing more and more expensive constructor’s points with every round of the championship.

To me, it’s obvious. Send him down to Torro Rosso NOW and put him on probation for a month. Although, thinking about it, I’m not too sure that Franz Tost would exactly greet Max with open arms, given his reckless, cowboy style of driving and history of wrecking numerous machines.

Good luck to Danny Ricc in today’s race. Particularly if he ends up trying to pass Verstappen somewhere!




“Ricciardo is so highly respected by Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Botas and the other elites. as one who can ALWAYS be trusted to pull off a passing attack in a professional and safe manner”

I wish I could say different, but it should really read *almost* always – He is still human after all 🙂

Anyway, Marko and Horner have limited their options by giving Verstappen that contract extension until the end of 2021, so unless there’s a “crash too much and you get the boot” clause they’re stuck with him.


Interesting qualifying and great laps from Ricciardo. I don’t see him winning the race though – I can envisage a lottery of a race like Baku where Hamilton has the winning ticket. Top 3 prediction: 1. HAM 2. BOT 3. PER


None out of 3, top tipping.


Tea Leaves? Barometric pressure? Scaterring ants?

C’mon, whats your secret?


Bring hypersoft to all races. Spice up qualifying.


Great Q3 by DR. Well Done. Though his cocky comment after may come to bite him. But thats Aussies for you. Kenneth will be dancing around the Quayside in his Pirate outfit 😎😉 hoping the Monaco based Aussie gets the win. Anyway well done again to DR well deserved.

Think Mercedes did an awesome job to get their long wheel base car into the top 3.

I have a funny feeling that Vettel may get the jump on DR knowing he has to be ahead of LH.

Max V has one gear thats fast even in the last Free Practice. Instead of waoting till Qualifying he just goes for it 100% in every session. Hemet Marko could be seen saying “Why did you need to do that?” to Max V after the mishap. Its in exactly the same place he crashed it a few years back.

Hats off to Alonso.

Sirorkin did well and Stroll caved.

Haas …. oh dear after all the excitement maybe car not suited for Monaco.

Force India look great on a track they didn’t have much reckoning.

Sainz is slowly taking over at Renault.

Happy 50th to Vassuer this weekend ?

Going to be a Safety Car riddled conga around Monaco.

Grosjean cannot stop moaning. Maybe he is missing his doughnuts.


“Going to be a Safety Car riddled conga around Monaco.”



Following #Maxvercrashen latest crash in Monaco

From Sky Sports Thursday Practice 1 and 2

Back Daniel Ricciardo’s Helmet in Garage Monaco F1 GP 2018 – https://twitter.com/SkySportsF1/status/999597450003341312


‏ @ricciardo

21h21 hours ago

RICCIARDO Retweeted Sky Sports F1

Honey Badger: “I WON’T APOLOGIZE”


Sky Sports F1

Verified account @SkySportsF1

The back of Ricciardo’s helmet

LIVE NOW on Sky Sports F1 – Channel 406

📺 Sky Go: http://skysports.tv/HuzbYB

🗒️ Blog: http://skysports.tv/PtJT8k



If Ricciardo can make it out of Ste Devote in the lead, he’ll be fine, but I worry that Vettel will pull a blinder, & just try to block his way to a win.

Good to see Ocon finally getting his car to work, but if it only works here, Force India may have an issue similar to Williams issue.

Because it is Monaco, I don’t think Stroll will be able to do one of his first lap progressions, but hopefully Sirotkin can sneak into the points.

It will be interesting to see if Max can get into the 10 without causing Safety cars.

So go Dan, Hamilton to jump Vettel, Ocon holds off Alonso, & Leclerc to bring the car home without a scratch.


My greatest fear as well. If Dan has a weakness, it’s his launch…and vettel is hot on the clutch with that Ferrari.

If Dan can win Ste Devote, he’ll pull away -the Bulls were much stronger in the long runs in practice and getting better wear on the hypers.

If he doesn’t he’ll have to go for the overcut…the ultra’s were almost a second a lap slower so i expect they will all be going as long as possible.


I just dont get it max is supposed to be the new messiah and paddy is supposed to get the williams going what am i missing


You’re missing one Ricciardo and two pay drivers


I’m a Ricciardo fan but I do feel for Max. Quite a few BIG opportunities lost now. He must smooth out the twitchy moves, the impatience or what ever it is. Danny is bringing home the bacon this year – yet he is the one most likely to move. I hope he does – I wonder if the team a feeling torn, since they “appear” to give Max more support if you read between the lines.

Sirotkin and Leclerc up just there in the mid-field. Good on them. Unfortunate that Hartley couldn’t get the consistency happen. Strange! He could have been 10th at least I hoped. Stroll swearing his head off with frustration – sad. Who would have thought Williams right at the back. Man…

The future of F1 in the next few years: Ricciardo, Hamilton, Vettel, Gasly, Sainz, Leclerc, Ocon.


Very exciting qualifying session!



Don’t you love HM’s words for MV “…it was very unnecessary”.

Same could be said Marko when you claimed last year, you’re building the team around MV. I just love seeing egg on that guys face. Not sure why but it’s very enjoyable.


They say Monaco separates the men from the boys.


Well, it separates the lucky men from the not so lucky men. Several drivers, RIC including, have crashed during FP or quali this season, but their cars (sometimes just barely) made it into the next round. Not so here.


Max will never be a WDC. Yes he is super fast but I felt if he had the fatstest car he could win by virtue of the fact he could lead from the front (like Vettel did at RB) and avoid traffic etc. however this weekend he has the fastest car and bins it. He just does not have what it takes to do it over a season no matter how good the car is. Too early too soon.


Ok RBR strategists, repeat after me “Tyres mean nothing at Monaco – track position means everything – don’t panic over what other teams do!”

You could have put truck tyres on DR in 2016 while LH could have had “NSW-state -of-origin-team-Soft” tyres, and DR still would have won. They never, ever had to change the tyre plan at the last second because of Merc. More than any other track, what other teams do doesn’t matter.

I hope they’ve learnt their lesson.

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