Daniel Ricciardo expects increased Ferrari, Mercedes threat

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo storms to Monaco GP pole position

Following a tough qualifying campaign yesterday, Hamilton also confessed that his hopes of winning the Monaco Grand Prix were slim.

Ricciardo's team messed up a pit stop in the 2016 race, costing him victory, and he was taking nothing for granted in his quest for a seventh career grand prix win.

In lead-up to the big day, the Red Bull Racing's driver took part in the practice runs complete with a camera strapped to the vehicle so we - law-obliging drivers - can see what it's like to fly at incredibly insane speeds and not cop a ticket... or crash and burn.

"There is still a lot of fire in this belly".

"The team will always be behind me, in good and bad times".

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, last year's race victor, joined Ricciardo on the front row with world championship leader Lewis Hamilton third for Mercedes.

With Mercedes and Ferrari typically turning up their engines for qualifying, Ricciardo expects the field to be tighter than in practice but he is sure there is still more to come from Red Bull.

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He said nipah virus is not carried by mosquitoes. "People have been advised to keep distance from bats and pigs". However, the incubation period is between 4 and 14 days from contracting the disease to the onset of symptoms.

Ricciardo said the vehicle felt better than last year's, and more like the one he had in 2016.

"In Q2, we tried something different with the ultrasoft, but the grip just wasn't there on the harder compound and we were some way off setting a competitive time", said Mercedes chief Toto Wolff.

Hamilton regretted a sloppy last sector after being pipped by the German, but sounded resigned to missing out on a third straight win.

"Like I said, we knew what was going to happen this weekend". My last lap, I was up 0.27secs [after the first sector] but I lost it in the middle and last sector, so naturally not happy with that. It doesn't feel great but it's just one race.

Anyone looking to place a bet on qualifying would have gone with a Red Bull one-two as dawn broke over Monaco, but when Verstappen crashed out of final practice - topping the time-sheets at that point - Dutch hearts sank.

He clipped the barrier on his exit from the Swimming Pool complex and slammed into the wall during FP3, causing damage to his gearbox that ruled him out of Q1.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen was the slowest of the 19 drivers who competed in qualifying, ahead of non-starter Verstappen, a stark contrast to his midfield-leading effort two weeks ago in Spain.

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