Raikkonen takes Monaco pole for Ferrari

Lynette Rowe
May 29, 2017

The Scuderia have not won around Monte Carlo's iconic street circuit since Michael Schumacher led Rubens Barichello home in a Ferrari one-two back in 2001.

"We got things more or less together in practice three, and in qualifying the auto was feeling the best it has so far this weekend".

The pole was the Finnish 2007 world champion's first since the June 2008 French Grand Prix and the 17th of his career.

Kimi Raikkonen secured his first pole for nine years and Ferrari a first front row lockout at the Monaco Grand Prix since 2008 after qualifying for Formula One's glamour race on Saturday.

"It's obviously the best place to start, but it doesn't guarantee anything for tomorrow", he said. None of the top drivers could claim to hook up the flawless lap, but Raikkonen's was as close as anyone with a 1:12.178 - the fastest ever around the Monaco Grand Prix circuit. While Vettel and Raikkonen took 1-2 in the final practice on Saturday, he was only fifth. "I should have done a better job overall". "It's a pity for Sebastian that he made a little mistake in Turn 5, but having two cars up there is good". "I was probably a bit too greedy and wanted a bit too much", Vettel said.

Overtaking in Monaco is one of the greatest challenges facing the drivers but Vettel expects it to be a fair fight into Turn One.

"It's not been an easy weekend for us", he added.

"We are here to race".

Given the reliability and speed of Ferrari's vehicle, Raikkonen has a good chance of securing a 21st race win and his first since 2013 when he drove for Lotus at the season-opening Australian GP.

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"The start is the beginning of the race, not the end".

The Finn's Mercedes team-mate, three-time champion Hamilton, who is six points behind Vettel in the title race, failed to make the cut for the top ten shootout, qualifying 14th after a miserable afternoon. In qualifying, I got some scruffy runs, some traffic, and couldn't get in the same rhythm so I was close.

"I don't really know what to say at the moment".

The qualifying result means Ferrari's second front-row lockout of the year, the last one being in Russian Federation where they were then beaten to victory by Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton was crestfallen. "The opportunity was not there for me today", he said. "We just need to identify why I wasn't able to be up there too".

"It couldn't have been a better day for them".

Asked how his qualifying without the Vandoorne incident, Hamilton told Sky Sports: "I think I would have struggled".

"I don't know why everyone thinks it will be different tomorrow than the last two years", Raikkonen said. To be honest, is he going to listen?

"I'll try and get up as high as I can but it's hard to overtake here, as you know". What has he got to lose?

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