A Mercedes didn’t win the most recent Formula One race—neither of the cars even made it through the opening lap—and a Mercedes won’t sit on pole for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. Instead, Daniel Ricciardo took his first-career pole position with the Mercedes teammates right behind him.
Ricciardo captured his first pole run for one of the larger races of the F1 season, but he can’t sit too comfortably off the start. Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and defending champion Lewis Hamilton will be right behind him, and Rosberg’s qualifying time was just under two tenths slower than the one run by Ricciardo.
The pole also marks the first time since 2013 that Red Bull Racing topped F1 qualifying, but the other Red Bull car driven by the series’ most recent winner, Max Verstappen, will be at the opposite end of the grid—a wreck in qualifying puts him in the 21st starting position. Also of note, Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who qualified in sixth, is set to lose five positions on the grid due to a gearbox change after the final free practice session.
Even with the Mercedes teammates right behind Ricciardo, a lack of Mercedes dominance is still a breath of fresh air similar to the one we got when 18-year-old Verstappen won the Spanish Grand Prix a couple of weeks ago. Rosberg and Hamliton—known for their fiery, hateful internal feuds with one another—took each other out on the first lap and gave some other drivers the spotlight for a bit. Rosberg had seven-consecutive F1 victories prior to Verstappen’s win, with three carrying over from last season and four in 2016.