It’s been a long time coming, but Daniel Ricciardo has finally clinched his first pole position in Formula One – and he did so in quite emphatic style with a thrilling lap that put him out of reach of the Mercedes cars.
Ricciardo’s grin was on full power as he celebrating his achievement in Monaco, which he felt proved what he had been saying about his recent strong form.
“After Barcelona I feel like the last few races I’ve been driving well but haven’t quite got maximum rewards,” he said.
“I came into this weekend with I’d say a lot of confidence and a lot of belief that I could be in this position now and I’m very happy to fulfil that.
It feels good and I’ve always enjoyed this place. 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.”
Ricciardo even managed to set his best Q2 time on a set of supersofts which means that this will be the set of tyres he starts tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix on giving him a potential strategic advantage over his rivals.
“We’ll see tomorrow if it works. The plan was to go out on the ultrasoft on the first run in Q2 and at least try and do a good enough lap with that. We had the time on our side so we thought let’s try see what a supersoft can do do and we just feel it maybe opens up a few more options for the race tomorrow.
“We did a good lap on that, and it set us up well for Q3 as well knowing that I had the ultrasoft then that step in grip, I think I was able to maximise that and do the laps so let’s see – I think today we’re sitting pretty, hopefully it turns in our favour as well tomorrow.”
Ricciardo will be one driver not hoping for rain tomorrow so that he can convert his pole position to an outright race victory. Whatever happens, he’s not going to let anything ruin his success today or keep him awake tonight.
“I’ll certainly be able to sleep tonight, I think. I’ll probably sleep easier knowing I achieved what I set out to do. The whole week’s been a lot of expectation and excitement,” he said. “It’s cool to get my first pole and it’s always been a very good track for me, I’ve always loved it here.
“It’s a good day. I’m going to enjoy it while I can and 24 hours from now I’ll hopefully be back here.”
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