Max starts from the back in Monaco, Ricciardo on pole

Published on 26 May 2018 by Raymond Snip

Max Verstappen will start the Monaco Grand Prix from the last spot. During the qualifying session, the young Dutchman did not start driving to his crash in the third free practice session. Teammate Daniel Ricciardo took the pole position. On the tricky Monte Carlo street circuit, Sebastian Vettel drove his Ferrari to P2 and Lewis Hamilton finished third in his Mercedes.

"I suffered from a slower car, but that is no excuse”, Max explains after qualifying. "I have no good explanation for it. I steered in too early. Just like in China, it was my fault. I was ready for qualifying but when the car was started we discovered the leak and by then it was too late to get out."

Looking ahead to the race, Max continues: "We know we have the speed but we can’t do much because it’s so difficult to overtake here."

Prior to qualifying, Max' car was being worked until the last moment, after he crashed into the barrier at the end of the third free practice session. The weather is beautiful when the lights go green for Q1. Brendon Hartley is out first in his Toro Rosso. Shortly after the start of the session there are ominous reports from the Red Bull camp. It appears that Max’ gearbox also needs to be replaced. This immediately shuts down qualifying for the unfortunate Dutchman. With that, he will start from the back on Sunday.

In the meantime, Ricciardo is setting the fastest time and Kevin Magnussen, Marcus Ericsson, Nico Hülkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Max are below the cut off. When the flag goes down, it’s Brendon Hartley, Ericsson, Lance Stroll, Magnussen and Max who are done after Q1.

At the start of Q2 both Mercedes drivers go out on ultra soft tyres. The rest, however, runs on the hyper-soft compound. With three purple sectors his first fast lap, Ricciardo goes to P1: 1.11.353. With that, the Australian sets the fastest lap ever in the streets of Monaco. After their first run, both Mercedes are below the line. This shows that the ultra soft tyres are not fast enough to get to Q3.

The second run of Q2 starts with both Mercedes, Sergey Sirotkin, Charles Leclerc and Romain Grosjean below the line. On the hyper soft tyres, both Mercedes succeed to reach Q3. Ricciardo shaves off some time of his fastest lap and after the exhaust fumes have settled, Hülkenberg, Stoffel Vandoorne, Sirotkin, Leclerc and Grosjean are eliminated.

At the start of Q3 it’s uncertain who can keep Ricciardo from pole position. The Australian and Kimi Raikkonen go out on track together as last ones for their first run. Ricciardo scores purple in the first two sectors and also his last sector turns purple. With that he goes under 1.11. He is now almost half a second in front of number two, Lewis Hamilton.

In the all-deciding final run, there is no threat to Ricciardo’s pole position. Vettel jumps to P2 at the expense of Hamilton completing qualifying.

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Results qualifying Monaco:

posdriverteamq1q2q3laps
1Daniel RicciardoRICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:12.0131:11.2781:10.81017
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:12.4151:11.5181:11.03921
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:12.4601:11.5841:11.23222
4Kimi RäikkönenRAIFerrari1:12.6391:11.3911:11.26622
5Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:12.4341:12.0021:11.44125
6Esteban OconOCOForce India Mercedes1:13.0281:12.1881:12.06127
7Fernando AlonsoALOMcLaren Renault1:12.6571:12.2691:12.11026
8Carlos SainzSAIRenault1:12.9501:12.2861:12.13028
9Sergio PerezPERForce India Mercedes1:12.8481:12.1941:12.15423
10Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:12.9411:12.3131:12.22129
11Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:13.0651:12.41122
12Stoffel VandoorneVANMcLaren Renault1:12.4631:12.44019
13Sergey SirotkinSIRWilliams Mercedes1:12.7061:12.52119
14Charles LeclercLECSauber Ferrari1:12.8291:12.71420
15Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:12.9301:12.72821
16Brendon HartleyHARScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:13.17912
17Marcus EricssonERISauber Ferrari1:13.26511
18Lance StrollSTRWilliams Mercedes1:13.32310
19Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:13.39312