Ricciardo takes pole position for Monaco GP ahead of Vettel

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Australia's driver Daniel Ricciardo steers his Red Bull during the qualifying session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Saturday, May 26. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Australia’s driver Daniel Ricciardo steers his Red Bull during the qualifying session at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Saturday, May 26. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Monaco (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo took a dominant pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday, softening the blow for Red Bull after his teammate Max Verstappen failed to even start qualifying, having earlier crashed in final practice.

Ricciardo topped all three sections of qualifying, setting a lap record in the process for only his second career pole. The other was also in Monaco, two years ago.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel qualifed second ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. In a further boost for Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

Ricciardo was also fastest in all three practice sessions and the Australian driver will be confident of securing his second win after victory last month in China.

There will be contrasting moods in Red Bull’s garage.

Verstappen crashed under no pressure moments from the end of P3. He sustained damage to his front wing and right front tire, while the suspension was broken.

Red Bull repaired his gearbox, meaning he incurred a five-place grid penalty. But it made no difference anyway as the car was not ready for qualifying.

The 20-year-old Dutch driver will start Sunday’s race from last place.

Two years ago, Verstappen also started from the back of the grid after a similar crash in qualifying.