2017 Monaco GP Qualifying Report

Kimi Raikkonen has achieved his first Formula 1 pole position for nearly a decade, for tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix. His Ferrari teammate, Sebastian Vettel, joins him on the front row as Lewis Hamilton struggled and qualified down in fourteenth.

The results of practice earlier in the day suggested that Ferrari and in particular, Vettel, had the advantage going into qualifying. But as ever in Monte Carlo, it wasn’t that simple, as the Red Bulls set the early pace in Q1. Mercedes, though, were struggling, with neither Hamilton, nor Valtteri Bottas threatening the top of the time-sheets. Also struggling, was Romain Grosjean, who spun his Haas at Mirabeau and was lucky not to collect anybody else.

In the end, though, Grosjean made it through to Q2 but Esteban Ocon, Jolyon Palmer, Lance Stroll, Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, who dislodged his rear-left tyre at the chicane, all failed to make it through to Q2.

The second session of qualifying got underway and Kimi Raikkonen was looked very quick once more as he headed a Ferrari 1-2 in Q2. Lewis Hamilton, however, wasn’t happy as he was complaining of a lack of grip in his Mercedes and almost collided with the barriers at the Massenet. Grosjean went wide once more, this time at Sainte Devote but recovered from this to make it into the Top 10 shootout. Also through were the two McLarens of Jenson Button (deputising for Fernando Alonso) and Stoffel Vandoorne but the latter wouldn’t take any part in Q3.

That was because he crashed at the second swimming pool chicane and, as a result, prevented any drivers from improving their times. This included Hamilton and he was out of Q2 for the first time in four years because of a lack of pace. Daniil Kvyat, Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen and Felipe Massa also joined the Brit out of Q2.

When Q3 began Kimi Raikkonen picked up where he left off by setting another 1:12.2 to go top of the timings once more. Nobody could touch the Finn in the early stages, Daniel Ricciardo going closest but still half a second off his time. Valtteri Bottas then went P2 but Raikkonen was looking good for his first pole since returning to F1 back in 2012.

With just a few minutes remaining, Raikkonen again improved his time to a 1:12.178. Sebastian Vettel went to within a tenth, as did Bottas but Kimi had done it. It’s his first pole since the 2008 French Grand Prix and if he converts it to a win tomorrow, it’ll be his first victory in over four years. Max Verstappen beat Ricciardo by half a second to claim P4, Carlos Sainz put in an excellent lap for P6 in his Toro Rosso and Jenson Button achieved P9 on his brief return to Formula 1.

Full Classification:

P1: Raikkonen – 1:12.178

P2: Vettel +0.043

P3: Bottas +0.045

P4: Verstappen +0.318

P5: Ricciardo +0.820

P6: Sainz +0.984

P7: Grosjean +1.171

P8: Perez +1.265

P9: Button* +1.435

P10: Vandoorne** (No time)

P11: Kvyat 1:13.516 (Q2)

P12: Hulkenberg +0.112

P13: Magnussen +0.443

P14: Hamilton +0.590

P15: Massa +7.013

P16: Ocon 1:14.101 (Q1)

P17: Palmer +0.595

P18: Stroll +0.792

P19: Wehrlein +1.058

P20: Ericsson +1.175

*Jenson Button has a 15-place grid penalty

**Stoffel Vandoorne has a 5-place grid penalty

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