Six highlights from qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix

Qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix produced two red flags, a first time pole sitter, a wrecked car, a blown engine, and a lapse in Mercedes dominance. It was thrilling. Here are six of my favorite facts from Qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix:

  1. Red Bull very nearly bookend the grid today. Verstappen finally acted his age and made a mistake, damaged the car, and will start on the back row.
  1. Ricciardo collected his first ever pole position with a stunning lap of 1 min 13.6 secs. That’s 1.5 seconds faster than last year’s pole time, when Hamilton laid a 1 min 15.1 sec lap.
  1. Rosberg out qualified Hamilton, who once again suffered from engine trouble. Within the first few seconds of Q3, Hamilton radioed his team with engine trouble, the team scrambled to get the car back out with six minutes to spare. All was not well, however, as Hamilton took several laps before making a real attempt at pole. His first two sectors were quickest of all, yet he came three-tenths short at the checker. Something was clearly still amiss.
  1. Ferrari’s laps couldn’t compete with the top two teams, meaning there’s still work to be done to gain downforce. In fact splitting the two prancing horses, Nico Hulkenberg nabbed an impressive top five. The German showing, yet again, he deserves a top team ride.
  1. Carlos Sainz is two-for-two in out qualifying Kvyat. The Russian unable to convince anyone he still deserves his recently lost seat.
  1. And McLaren continues to inch forward with Alonso setting a fast enough time to make Q3, even if only just.

Rain or no, Monaco is, once again, set to be a thriller.