Red Bull pace was enough not to "overdrive" - Ricciardo
Monaco Grand Prix pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo says he knew Red Bull had enough of an advantage so as not to “overdrive” the car, following teammate Max Verstappen's shunt in practice.
Verstappen crashed heavily at the second Swimming Pool chicane in the Saturday morning practice session, and his car could not be fixed in time for qualifying.
This resigned him to a back-of-the-grid start on a weekend where Red Bull has been the pace-setter, with Ricciardo having swept the practice sessions before topping Q1, Q2 and Q3 en route to the team's first pole since the same race in 2016.
Asked whether Verstappen's crash weighed on his mind during his qualifying run, Ricciardo said: "It's always in the back of your mind here, I guess, because the risk and reward is very real, and it was proven this morning.
"It's one of those things, it's there but it is at the back of your mind. To be fast you can't think about those things.
"Knowing we had a great package all week, we need to push it but we don't need to overdrive it. Just [need to] hit your marks and keep it clean."
Ricciardo added, however, that it was no surprise that one of the top cars wound up having an accident.
"We're all pushing each other, particularly myself and Max in the same team, so it's no surprise, these things can happen.
"When we're lapping 1m10s, 1m11s, there's very little room for error."
The Aussie said his weekend thus far has been "pretty smooth", as he and the team were aware the RB14 didn't require many changes to star in Monaco.
"Every session we've been quick, it's a bit like 2016 - coming into this race knowing we had a legitimate chance to fight for a pole, knowing how the cars performed the first few races.
"We didn't really change much, it was one of those pretty smooth ones. I could just build up to it and find my rhythm and had some fun."
His pole position – only the second of his F1 career – was secured with his first run in Q3, and while Ricciardo couldn't improve on his second attempt as rivals closed in, he insisted he worried about keeping first place.
"I knew the first lap was pretty good and I felt it was enough.
"We don't have as much power in qualifying but we still had enough around here to get it done, so that feels good."
Additional reporting by Scott Mitchell
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