Monaco a ‘special place’ for maiden pole – Ricciardo

2016 Monaco Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo has described Monaco as a ‘special place’ for him to have secured the first pole position of his Formula 1 career ahead of tomorrow’s grand prix.

Often heralded as the most important pole of the season, Ricciardo produced a stunning lap in qualifying to take prime position at the front of the field ahead of the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

“It’s definitely a special place,” says Ricciardo.

“I knew coming into the weekend that we’d have a shot at it. It looked good from Thursday. I sort of had it in my mind coming into the weekend. And after Barcelona, the last few races, I feel like I’d been driving well but haven’t quite got maximum rewards.

“So I came into this weekend with a lot of confidence and a lot of belief that I could be in this position now. And yeah, I’m very happy. And it feels good. I’ve always enjoyed this place.”

Ricciardo has been the only Red Bull recipient of a power unit upgrade from Renault for this weekend and says that the increased drivability contributed to his performance.

“Of course I’ve benefited from the new power unit and the upgrades,” says Ricciardo.

“The car’s been working well. I’m happy. I put it together when I needed to. Qualifying built up and built up and I found a rhythm and that first lap in Q3 was the one I needed to do. So I’m happy. I feel I’ve been qualifying well all year and this place more than any is the one you want to do it in and I’ve done it today, so very pleased.”

The Red Bull driver will be the only front running driver to start tomorrow’s race on the super soft tyres after setting his quickest time in Q2 on a set of new super softs.

“We’ll see tomorrow if it works,” explains Ricciardo.

“The plan was to go out in the first run in Q2 on the ultra softs and at least try to do a good enough lap with that. We had time on our side so we thought‘let’s see what a super soft can do’. We just feel it may open up a couple of options for the race tomorrow. We did a good lap on that and it set us up well for Q3 as well.

“The car’s good. We’ve got a good package behind us now and it’s nice to be able to make the most out of it. I think today we’re sitting pretty. Hopefully it turns out favourable tomorrow.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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14 comments on “Monaco a ‘special place’ for maiden pole – Ricciardo”

  1. Ricciardo can become the first driver since the Pirelli age to win starting on the prime tomorrow.

    1. No he can’t.
      1. The super-softs aren’t the primes, the softs are (though I get what you mean, not the softest tyre).
      2. Rosberg won in China this year starting on softs.
      3. Personally I wonder if this was a wise decision by Red Bull. The question is wheater it is possible to do a one stopper with ultrasoft-supersoft because if it is, I can see Ricciardo struggle to win this since he has to use either the slow softs or the not very long lasting ultrasofts for his last stint.

      1. @oel-f1 I forgot about the third tyre, though what has 2) to do with it?

        1. @xtwl that someone has already won a race without starting it on the softest compound (even if that no longer has to be the prime).

          1. @oel-f1 Ah yes, this post is a mess…

  2. Hams face is priceless. Great job Danny boy!

  3. Starting on super softs does open few options, that is true. But what options does it open?
    In my opinion, if a one stopper with ultra softs and supersofts is possible; then Ricciardo is screwed. The drivers chasing him will pit early and then reel him in with fresher tyre, Daniel will have to pit later and then hope that the softer tyre along with the tyre age difference will allow him to overtake.

    1. I agree, it does seem problematic. He could of course pit early for softs but that doesn’t seem to give him any advantage, rather the opposite. The problem is he can’t use super-softs for his second stint. I wonder what they have in mind…

  4. Why is Ham always reacts that the entire world is against him? His gesture at the post qualifying picture and he isolates himself at the driver parade

    1. Maybe because he honestly expresses his emotions rather than put on a fake smile.

      1. yeah, I always wonder why people like being lied to vs someone who is more forthcoming. But that is the nature of how things are, and I dare say the sponsors wouldn’t have it any other way.

    2. You expect him to be all smiles after hes just had yet another mechanical problem? Seriously?

      You’re using it as a negative that he doesn’t want to socialize with his competitors on race day? Whats wrong with you? Maybe hes so successful because he doesn’t treat his job like a joke.

      1. Yes, because despite it he’s still starting in third. He should pick up the bottom lip and get on with it.

        He’s an amazing driver, there’s rain and anything can happen in Monaco, it’s hardly a disaster.

    3. When his unhappy he shows it, when his happy he shows it. That is probably why his better as a driver than a politician.

      As about the driver parade i think he likes to be in his own little world before a race. He also doesn’t give interviews before a race other the one his is obliged do at the parade. Except that i would also say he doesn’t have much common with the other guys to chit chat about.

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