Kimi Raikkonen to start from pole at Monaco GP

Lynette Rowe
June 1, 2017

I think it means an bad lot to the team. "This is the reality of it at the moment".

It was a first win for Ferrari in Monaco since 2001 and on a weekend when his main title rival Lewis Hamilton struggled it was a dream result for Vettel.

But it was shrouded in controversy.

The Briton told reporters after the German handed Ferrari their first Monaco Grand Prix win in 16 years that the Italian team was clearly favouring the championship leader over his team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

"You'd rather have 2 points or 4 points rather than none because this might make all the difference at the end of the season when it gets tight in the championship", Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said.

"I really have no idea", Hamilton said. But when you are controlling the Monaco Grand Prix from the front in the fastest auto, you have to be some dunderhead to pit the leader and turn him into the runner-up. I don't now feel that we have to favour one over the other. We will regroup. The Ferrari auto seems to work everywhere - they have had arguably the strongest vehicle all year - and the next 14 races are going to be very, very hard. "Who knows what is going to happen?"

"That's really what I have got to try to understand this week", Hamilton said.

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"They're going to be pushing everything to make sure Sebastian will get the maximum on all of his weekends".

But Hamilton was left in no doubt as to the reason Vettel won this race, coming from behind at a circuit where overtaking is near-impossible.

Vettel denied his Ferrari team had pre-conceived a plot in order to ensure he would win and maximise the damage to Hamilton in the title race. "But the underdog is the one that people want to see winning". Maybe they won't but I'd like to think so.

"So we'll regroup, get the vehicle back to where we know it's comfortable for the next races, try to understand the ultra-soft tyre a bit better and come back stronger". Starting from 13th on the grid and with overtaking hard at Monaco, his task was damage limitation and he was happy with the result.

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda had said that if one driver was holding the other up, he had to let the quicker one past. It was clear that, I think they had the same plan to be honest so the lead auto normally gets priority so if I had a choice at that point, sitting behind Kimi, if I was going in the pits first, that's maybe what you like to do, because you are sooner on the fresher tires so I think it's probably one of the rare occasions where the over-cut turned out to be positive, so I'm really glad I made that work.

"It's hard for the leader here to be passed - unless the team decides to favour one auto", Lewis Hamilton, now 25 points behind Vettel after six races, said. "Normally, the longer it goes the better it gets for us".

It seemed to be a case of the Ferrari team giving preferential treatment to Vettel with Raikkonen's stop looking like it came far too early. "So we will see".

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