Kimi Raikkonen takes pole for Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton 14th
Sebastian Vettel starts on the front row alongside teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who grabbed the pole at the Monaco Grand Prix. Vettel left it late but pushed Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas back to third.other sports Updated: May 27, 2017 19:32 IST
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen took pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday, and title contender Lewis Hamilton failed to make the top 10 in a significant blow for Mercedes.
Ferrari has been quick all weekend and championship leader Sebastian Vettel starts on the front row alongside teammate Raikkonen. Vettel left it late but pushed Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas back to third. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen starts fourth.
Raikkonen’s last pole was at the French GP as far back as 2008. The 37-year-old Finnish driver got a leading time of 1 minute, 12.178 seconds — just ahead of Vettel’s 1:12.221.
“It doesn’t guarantee anything for tomorrow. Nevertheless, I’ll happily take it,” Raikkonen said. “I was very happy with the car. It was nice, straightforward qualifying.”
Hamilton headed into the weekend six points behind Vettel and aiming to move level with Ayrton Senna’s total of 65 pole positions. Instead, the three-time F1 champion could only get the 14th best time.
While Vettel and Raikkonen took 1-2 earlier in final practice, Hamilton was only fifth.
His form failed to improve in qualifying, twice wobbling on the track after losing grip on his car.
“This weekend has been a bit tricky for us,” said Bottas, who clocked 1:12.223. “It was quite difficult to get a lap together and Lewis also struggled with that. Ferrari had the upper hand in general.”
Vettel narrowly missed out on a 48th career pole.
“The car was really nice to drive. I was probably a bit too greedy and wanted a bit too much,” Vettel said. “The bottom line is that it’s a great result for the team.”