Giving the sweltering heat of Monaco an air of cool domination, Daniel Ricciardo delivered a brilliant drive to clinch pole position for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Claiming his first pole and also the first this year for Red Bull of what’s clearly turning out to be a tricky, suspenseful 2018 run so far, Ricciardo looks all set to win what might be his second Grand Prix of the season, following his thumping win at Shanghai.
Daniel Ricciardo denies Ferrari, Mercedes Monaco pole
Having never a won a race here in the heart of the Principality of Monte Carlo, the Australian driver reaffirmed his chances once again and delivered on the hopes his team had of him in the event of Verstappen’s sudden crash in Saturday’s morning practice. This will force him to join the line-up on race-day from the back of the grid.
A doyen among the racing tracks in all of F1’s roaster, the glamour of the principality truly peaks as the F1 entourage descends into the land of casinos, serene yachts and blue pristine waters. What transpires into a heady cocktail of speed and a spike of adrenaline doused by high-octane, even feisty Grands Prix truly heightens the expectations fans and pundits have of a track they label a litmus test for gauging the skill of F1 drivers.
In setting an amazing, tyre-bursting 1:10:810, Daniel Ricciardo has given both the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton a food for thought in taming what seems to be a three-way fight to the checkered flag at Monaco.
But it’s Monaco and that means there’s always some space to accommodate a thrill or two.
Where last year’s Grand Prix stood, Ferrari, clear winners in Vettel and Raikkonen 1-2 seem to have a clear endeavour ahead of Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. Can Vettel somehow find a way to breach past Ricciardo’s defences? Surely, Ricciardo, whose chances of winning his maiden win at Monte Carlo were ditched thanks to a botched pit stop previously in 2016 will fight to the last beating breath in his body to deny Vettel and Hamilton any chance, which means tasking the duo with 8 world titles between them.
Skill versus enterprise, grit versus tenacity, the Monaco GP seldom delivers a dead rubber.
There’s more to Ferrari’s gumption for Sunday
While the front row seems ready to deliver a close-fight between the reinvigorated Red Bull, in great recent form ( following Verstappen’s P3 at Spain) and a Ferrari ever desperate to reduce the gap to Hamilton’s Mercedes, the fact that 2017’s pole sitter Raikkonen sits almost on Hamilton’s tail might lift the Maranell0-based outfit to hope for a great finish.
But that’s not the only thrilling result we can anticipate in the 78-lap contest.
The fact that Raikkonen will be closely followed by Bottas on P5, who’ll, in turn, be trailed by Force India’s Esteban Ocon promises an exciting battle in the middle of the pack.
Let’s not forget that Fernando Alonso begins P7
While it goes without saying that in order to succeed at the narrowest track among all, it is but pertinent to emerge unscathed at least in the first corner, what’s most exciting is to predict if we can expect an accident-free opening lap at Monte Carlo where Senna still enjoys the best record till date- that of winning most GPs ever- 6.
So can we expect something incredible from Red Bull to make an already exhilarating 2018 season even more dramatic?
What’ll be running on Hamilton’s mind, of course, would be to find a way to increase his 17-point lead over Vettel.