Daniel Ricciardo stunned Mercedes in Monaco after claiming the first pole position of his Formula One career.
The Red Bull driver was 0.169 seconds quicker than championship leader Nico Rosberg with Lewis Hamilton, his Mercedes teammate, finishing third.
It’s the first time since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix that the team has won pole and Ricciardo was delighted to break his duck at one of the most glamorous and stylish circuits on the tour.
“It’s definitely a special place,” Ricciardo told reporters.
“I knew coming into the weekend we would have a shot at it. It looked good from Thursday. I had it in my mind also after Barcelona that I have been driving well but haven’t quite got maximum rewards so I came into this weekend with a lot of confidence and a lot of belief I could be in this position.
“I have always enjoyed this place. We have a good package behind us and it’s nice to be able to make the most of out it.”
This is the first time since 2011 that Mercedes have failed to set the quickest time in Monaco.
While Ricciardo celebrated, Hamilton, already 43 points adrift of teammate and leader Rosberg heading into Sunday’s race, was left to deal with more disappointment.
Hamilton, who has yet to win a race this season, had to be wheeled back to the garage after his car lost power at the start of the top 10 shootout.
He managed just one lap which propelled him from 10th to third, just ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Plagued by technical problems in the opening three races of the season, he was then involved in a crash at the Spanish Grand Prix a fortnight ago which ruled both himself and Rosberg out of the race.
This latest incident will only increase Hamilton’s frustration on a circuit where overtaking is notoriously troublesome.
“It was a difficult qualifying,” Hamilton told a press conference.
“I don’t really know what to say at the moment but the good thing is I did get out to do a lap at least.
“It was as bad as some of the races have been in the respect of the engine problems so I’m grateful to be up in third.
“Pole was there for the taking but I will do what I can in the race to salvage what I can from today’s result.”
While there was delight in one half of the paddock, it was despair in the other as Max Verstappen, a maiden grand prix winner last time out on his Red Bull debut, crashed out in the first session of Saturday’s session.
The 18-year-old, who won in Spain on his Red Bull debut, will start from 21st after breaking his front suspension after colliding with a barrier.
“Of course that is not the way you want to start for tomorrow,” he told reporters.
“I turned in a bit too early, broke the suspension and then couldn’t recover from it. It’s a case of misjudgment – that is all. A miscalculation – I just misjudged the grip a little bit.”
Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen, who is second in the championship race, will start in 11th position after being handed a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.