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Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo seizes pole for Monaco Grand Prix

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo has taken pole position for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix after an action-packed qualifying session. World champion Lewis Hamilton only qualified third due to an engine problem.

Australian Ricciardo grabbed the first pole position of his Formula One career Saturday with world championship leader Nico Rosberg joining him on the front row for Mercedes.

The pole, in a time of one minute 13.622 seconds, was the first since the Brazil Grand Prix in November 2013 for former champions Red Bull.

With Monaco being arguably the hardest track of all for overtaking, Ricciardo has a great chance of victory in Sunday's race.

Rosberg second on the grid

Rosberg, the runaway championship leader, will start from second as he bids for his fifth win in six races this season. He is well placed to extend his 43-point lead over triple world champion Lewis Hamilton.

The Englishman Hamilton qualified in third place, a remarkable recovery after he suffered a fuel pressure problem at the start of the final session and had to be pushed back along the pit lane.

Max Verstappen's car

Dutchman Max Verstappen's car crashed during the qualification

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, the last driver before Ricciardo to start a race on pole for Red Bull, will join Hamilton on the second row of the grid.

Verstappen crashes

Qualifying was held up twice, first when Felipe Nasr's Sauber started spewing smoke from the back and later when Red Bull's Max Verstappen, shock winner last time in Spain, crashed out. He qualified only 21st.

Monaco differs from other races where Friday is a day off. Qualifying started at 2pm local time (12:00 UTC) on Saturday with the race on Sunday.

Head protection

Media reports indicated that F1 officials have decided to go with the halo driver head protection system for 2017, rather than the aeroscreen.

A final decision will be announced on July 1 but reports said the aeroscreen had been discounted for now because of a lack of testing, but could be revived for 2018.

mm/jm (AFP, AP, dpa)

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