Nico Rosberg was surprised to see the lap time set by Daniel Ricciardo during qualifying that ultimately denied him pole position around the streets of Monaco on Saturday.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS tried hard to overcome the Red Bull Racing drivers 1:13.622 but came up 0.169 seconds short, but will start on the front row of the grid as he looks for his fourth consecutive Monaco Grand Prix victory.
Rosberg still feels he has a good chance of victory during Sunday’s race, and is hoping that his Ultrasoft-shod Mercedes will enable him to jump ahead of Ricciardo’s Supersoft-shod starting Red Bull into the first corner.
“I was really surprised when Daniel set his first quick lap in Q3,” said Rosberg. “I thought “damn, that was really quick!” I tried my best to top that and was able to come a bit closer – but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for pole.
“Red Bull and especially Daniel did a great job here today. Congrats to him on his first pole position – I’m sure it will feel special for him to have got it here in Monaco.
“But tomorrow there are still a few opportunities for us to win this race. At the start, Daniel is on the harder tyre with a lower grip level, so I hope to maybe gain something there.
“When I was on the harder compound in China, he caught me at the start – so I hope it’s payback time tomorrow and I can overtake him. I’ve been practising starts a lot over the weekend, so it could be exciting. I can’t wait to race again on this amazing track.”