Sunday, May 29, 2016

Ricciardo Driving Red Hot Red Bull Racing Takes Monaco Pole

Photo Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Following the end of the Spanish Grand Prix where the Mercedes AMG juggernaut fell early and Red Bull Racing picked up a fantastic victory through the hands of Max Verstappen. Happening only a few weeks ago, the Formula 1 world is left wondering if the race was a one-time fluke or could it be a sign of a change at the top of the grid. As the 2016 Formula 1 championship tackle the streets of Monte Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix, many are wishing to see prove of either possible reality coming out of Spain being proven true.

In Saturday qualifying, a different leader from a different team stood at the top for each of the three timed sessions held on the narrow street course.In Q1, Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari proved fastest while Nico Rosberg set top time in Q2 for Mercedes AMG. In Q3, Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo mounted the pole-winning time of 1-minute, 13.622 seconds. Expressing dejection following the Spanish Grand Prix when he cited pit stop strategy as costing him the potential for battling his teammate Verstappen for the race win, Ricciardo was considerably more upbeat in Monaco. As for the other driver of the Red Bull-Tag Heuer entrants, Max Verstappen faced a rough outing in qualifying in the first grand prix following his major first-time race victory. Making contact with the wall in the first session, Vetstappen will start in 21st place.

Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz/Daimler AG

Q3 for both Mercedes AMG cars was another oddity from the team that typically dominated qualifying. The race cars of Lewis Hamilton and current Formula 1 championship points leader Nico Rosberg reported fuel pressure problems in the final timed session. While Hamilton was unable to even log a lap early in Q3, the #44 Mercedes AMG was quickly sent back out to log in a fast time ultimately resulting in a third place starting start for the Monaco Grand Prix. On the front row with Daniel Ricciardo is Nico Rosberg who was 0.169 seconds slower than the pole winner.  

Sebastian Vettel starts fourth for Ferrari in a grand prix he won in 2011. The second Ferrari race car of Kimi Raikkonen qualified sixth on Saturday but will be starting from the 11th position following a gearbox change.

2016 Formula 1
Monaco Grand Prix
Starting Grid

Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG Heuer
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari
5 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes-Benz
6 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
7 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes-Benz
8 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
9 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
11 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari
12 9 Esteban Gutierrez Haas F1 Team Ferrari
13 22 Jenson Button McLaren Honda
14 19 Felipe Massa Williams F1 Mercedes-Benz
15 8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Ferrari
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault Renault
17 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari
18 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault Renault
19 98 Rio Haryanto Manor Mercedes-Benz
20 28 Pascal Wehrlein Manor Mercedes-Benz
21 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG Heuer
22 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber Ferrari

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