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Ricciardo takes pole position for Monaco Grand Prix

GETTY  INSTAGRAM    
   MONACO F1 rolls into Monte Carlo for the most glamorous race of the year

Ricciardo should have been joined on the podium by Max Verstappen, but Sunday's race was a case of damage limitation from the 20-year-old Dutchman after he started from last place following his practice crash.

Ricciardo's first Monaco GP victory was one to savour - a triumph against adversity.

The Dutchman picked off the two Haas cars at the start and then showed what he can with a ideal combination of patience and aggression with some nice moves at Mirabeau and into the chicane.

Just as the Russian was exiting the pits for serving that penalty, teammate Lance Stroll would pick up the first of two punctures during the race after making light contact with Marcus Ericsson through Casino Square.

That was until Sirotkin would face some unfortunate penalties from race control.

Back at the front, the pace was slow with all the drivers trying to keep as much life in the Hypersoft tyres as possible.

Hamilton stopped as early as lap 12 and had to manage a set of ultrasofts for the remaining 66 laps.

Ricciardo may have won, but it wasn't a cut and dry win for the Australian.

Germany's Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) came second, 0.229 seconds behind Ricciardo, while Britain's Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) came third, 0.422 seconds off the pace.

"At some stage Red Bull are going to get an engine and then they will be even closer in the mix with us".

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In a race heavily dictated by tyres, it was the Supersoft compound which emerged as the best but only Valtteri Bottas of the leading quintet would use it, and against the back of Kimi Raikkonen would have nowhere to make a move.

As it turned out, Ricciardo was racing with a almost 2-second deficit.

The Australian was overjoyed with his victory, which was a huge achievement against the odds and goes some way to making up for his disappointment when he missed an nearly certain win here in 2016 after a pit-stop error by his team.

A largely processional race - "boring" according to Hamilton, who said he would "have been asleep on the couch" if watching at home - saw a virtual safety vehicle needed in the closing laps.

French driver Esteban Ocon took his Force India to sixth place, ahead of compatriot Pierre Gasly in a Toro Rosso and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.

Starting on the pink-striped tyre proved the downfall of Carlos Sainz as the Spaniard was left having to let his teammate by before eventually completing the points in 10th.

"From a racing driver's point of view, we were never pushing".

After their various problems, the two Williams' brought up the field with Fernando Alonso the only other retirement after a gearbox problem caused him to pull off at Sainte Devote.

Vettel, like the opposite frontrunners was scuffling with tire put on, however has closed the hole within the standings to Hamilton to only 14 factors after six rounds of the championship, with Ricciardo 24 factors additional adrift in third.

A late-race virtual safety vehicle after Charles Leclerc's Sauber wiped out the Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley caused heart rates to skyrocket on the Red Bull pit wall, but McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne emerged from the pits under VSC conditions to slot in between Ricciardo and Vettel on track, and the Ferrari's struggles with regaining tyre temperature when the race resumed saw Ricciardo bolt to what was, in the end, a comfortable win by 7.336secs.

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