The Australian, in blistering form since Thursday practice around the streets of the tiny Mediterranean principality, made sure of the top slot for his team’s 250th race start with a quickest lap of one minute 10.810 seconds.
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen suffered as disaster, crashing out in final practice. Having failed to post a lap in qualifying, Verstappen will start from the back of the grid for Sunday’s race.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: “Daniel’s been on it all weekend, he’s been quickest in every session, every qualifying piece and he’s delivered two great laps which were capable of pole. He’s done an amazing job.
“It feels a little bittersweet. We’re delighted with pole but we should have had two cars up there. It’s frustrating with such a fast car not to have both cars on the front row of the grid.
“Max’s car was fired up and then we saw an oil leak in the gearbox which had been hidden and that was it. They did their best to get the gearbox replaced, which would have been a five-place penalty, but I have to say both car crews did everything that they could to make it happen. Today unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
“This place bites hard if you abuse it. Max is a very fast driver, we know that, and this weekend he has a great car. Nobody will be more frustrated than him. He should have been competing for the front row today. There is no more brutal lesson than what he has just had.”