Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Pole-sitter Raikkonen ready for Monaco GP

Pole-sitter Raikkonen ready for Monaco GP

In the first session, Hamilton was fastest followed by Vettel, Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Bottas - who is the other driver to win a race this season.

Qualifying session 2 from the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on Saturday 1.

"It's not ideal for Daniel having a pedal go wrong at turn one confidence-wise".

In the first session of qualifying the drivers to be eliminated were Marcus Ericsson, Jolyon Palmer, Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll and Pascal Wehrlein.

Lewis Hamilton admitted that Mercedes has a lot of work to do after the team struggled badly in afternoon practice in Monaco on Thursday.

"But it's great to see Valtteri was able to extract the performance of the auto".

Kimi Raikkonen took his first pole position in nine years after hooking up a sensational lap of the streets of Monte-Carlo during qualifying for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

"We didn't have the greatest day today", Hamilton said. "There is a certain DNA in the auto".

Then, in the following year, Hamilton dominated all weekend before a strategical error by his Mercedes team robbed him of victory.

"When you don't get into Q3, your weekend is pretty much done". Crucially both runs were without incident and in the afternoon he was just three-hundredths back on his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who has been in the auto all season.

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Britain's triple champion Lewis Hamilton, six points behind Vettel in the standings after five races, suffered a major blow when he failed to muscle his Mercedes into the top 10 and qualified only 14th.

"And when you see the other vehicle is capable of making it work and you can't think of why you aren't able to and it feels it's like a mystery, because none of us can really understand it. It feels like a mystery".

Over the previous three seasons his relationship with his former team-mate Nico Rosberg deteriorated and there was an element of mind games between the pair, but Hamilton has already stressed that the competition with another team makes for a very different dynamic.

"I don't know what was wrong there", said Vettel of Mercedes' problems.

It is his first pole in 128 grands prix, with the previously most recent coming in France in 2008. Pole is even more valuable at Monaco, the hardest track to overtake on in F1.

The Mercedes team expressed concern before the weekend that their vehicle would struggle for agility around the demanding and technical corners.

Raikkonen is fourth in the championship but 55 points behind Vettel. Tomorrow I will just be driving around in whatever position. "Just trying to make a stupid story or something".

Against all odds, Hamilton and Bottas were far behind.

"Tomorrow's race will clearly be a case of damage limitation for him", Wolff said.

The German then topped the second practice session, with Hamilton down in eighth. While Vettel and Raikkonen took 1-2 in the final practice on Saturday, he was only fifth. Mercedes took him back into the garage for a tire change but he still struggled with the car's balance. Stoffel Vandoorne (Belgium) McLaren 1:13.249 8.

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