Ricciardo wound up 0.229 seconds clear Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and four-tenths clear of championship leader and defending four-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes. "We don't mind if Red Bull are quick here, because there are more tracks like Barcelona [where Hamilton won last week] and we'll try to capitalize on those ones". "Maybe we need two races here, who knows".
Verstappen made an impressive, and crucially error-free start, progressing six places in the opening eight laps before making his way into the points shortly before the midway stage. Apart from the apparent power unit issue, it seems that Pirelli's tyres needed management from the first lap itself. Hamilton finished third in Monaco, one spot behind Vettel, and now leads the German by 14 points, with Ricciardo 24 further back. The hypersoft tyres offered a major pace boost in qualifying, but didn't last long during the race, forcing the frontrunners to pit relatively early.
The Australian dominated the weekend, setting the fastest time in every practice session before qualifying on pole. The hypersofts were expected to last 22 laps, but Hamilton chose to do away with his after only 12 laps.
"He is up to third and we have a very strong vehicle".
"Ultimately we were turned down and just cruising around to make sure we got to the end", said Hamilton. After all, the Renault engine is one of the reasons why Daniel Ricciardo isn't considered as a genuine contender.
Ricciardo drove Red Bull to victory having started the race from pole position Dan Mullan Getty Images
Ricciardo then offered the huge bottle - but not the shoe - to Prince Albert of Monaco, who took a small sip.
Ricciardo is now earning significantly less than Verstappen on STG12 million a season but would surely demand as much, if not more than his under-performing team-mate to stay with Red Bull. While both Hulkenberg and Sainz put up a good team effort to keep Verstappen off limits on Lap 54, the Belgian passed Sainz on Lap 58 to take P9, and retained the position as Sainz couldn't catch up in the 78 lap race. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) finished in fifth place, while Esteban Ocon (Force India) finished in sixth, ahead of Pierre Gasly (Torro Rosso).
That VSC was caused by Charles Leclerc enduring a brake failure and steaming into the back of Brendon Hartley as they exited the tunnel, in a race that scarcely created drama and produced 19 finishers. McLaren's Fernando Alonso also failed to finish for the first time this season after smoke started to emerge from his auto on lap 53.
"Unf*****believable", Ricciardo's team boss Christian Horner said.
The crash called for a virtual safety vehicle, making Monaco the seventh straight Grand Prix in the 2018 season to see either a safety auto or its virtual counterpart, but the condition was rapidly lifted, disappearing on lap 74 as lapped Stoffel Vandoorne exited the pit lane on hypersoft tires, directly between Ricciardo and Vettel, a secondary obstacle, adding further dirty air to Vettel's woes.
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