Formula 1

Raikkonen on Pole as Hamilton Endures Q2 Catastrophe

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Kimi Raikkonen - Photo Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first pole position for nine years as Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix. The Finn ended his 128 race wait for a pole position while championship challenger Lewis Hamilton suffered a disastrous session, dropping out in Q2 and qualifying fourteenth.

Hamilton hadn’t been showing pole position pace at any stage during the weekend but was still expected to comfortably clear his way into the top ten shootout. However, an error on the way into Massenet, which nearly sent him into the barriers, put him on his back-foot and plunged him into the drop zone heading into the closing minutes.

The Mercedes driver did appear to be on course to salvage the situation on his final lap until Stoffel Vandoorne buried his McLaren into the barriers at the Swimming Pool, bringing out the yellow flags. Ironically, the Belgian did make it through into Q3 but with no other improvements possible, Hamilton was stranded in fourteenth.

Q3 went on without the no.44 but Raikkonen held top spot throughout, clocking a 1:12.296 on his first run before lowering the benchmark time by another tenth later on. That final flyer would ultimately make the difference with Sebastian Vettel missing out by 0.043s while Valtteri Bottas trailed by a further two thousandths in third.

The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo also broke into the 1:12s, securing them fourth and fifth respectively, with Carlos Sainz following up Toro Rosso’s impressive Thursday form by taking sixth on the grid. Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean will share the fourth row and although the returning Jenson Button finished a superb ninth, grid penalties for changing power unit components will relegate the 2009 champion to the back of the grid.

 

2017 Grand Prix de Monaco – Qualifying Result

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