Daniel Ricciardo: “I put it together when I needed to”


Daniel Ricciardo - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Daniel Ricciardo stormed to his maiden Formula 1 pole position around the streets of Monaco on Saturday to continue his strong qualifying form of 2016.

The Red Bull Racing driver set a time of 1:13.622 to beat both of the Mercedes drivers to top spot, and was naturally delighted with the outcome, and felt that he got the lap together when it mattered.

Ricciardo was happy with his lap and believed it would have been hard to beat, and the Australian was happy when neither Nico Rosberg nor Lewis Hamilton could beat his time.

“I’m happy! I put it together when I needed to,” revealed Ricciardo. “Qualifying just built up and built up and I found the rhythm, and then that first run in Q3 was the one I needed to do.

“I feel I’ve been qualifying very well all year, and it’s cool to get my first pole in Formula One, this place more than any is a great place to get it at. Hopefully tomorrow we can convert it to the win, that’s the plan.

“It’s the first pole for the team in a while too, it’s a very good feeling. Coming into the weekend I believed I could be here today and it’s nice to match that belief. The lap felt good. I knew once I’d done it, it would be hard to beat because we were competitive with Mercedes and I hadn’t yet put together the best lap.”

Ricciardo also has the advantage of starting the race, should it be dry, on the slightly harder Supersoft Pirelli tyre after setting his fastest time in the second phase of tyres on that compound, and hopes that it gives him an advantage on race.

“It was a pretty good lap on the supersofts in Q2 so we start on those tomorrow, it should give us a bit more option in the race when to pit,” said Ricciardo. “It seemed like a bit of a freebie for us if we could do it and make it work, so why not.

“Sitting here now it looks good, we’ll see tomorrow what happens but I think it should hopefully give us a bit more flexibility. Today the job was pole, I’ve done that so let’s see what happens tomorrow, I’ve done what I can so far.”