Raikkonen on Pole as Hamilton struggles

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen secures pole position for the first time since France 2008 with teammate Sebastian Vettel alongside him on the front row. Valterri Bottas lines up in 3rd with Lewis Hamilton struggling and getting knocked out in Q2.


Vandoorne handed three-place grid drop

Stewards in Spain have handed McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne a three-place grid penalty for the Monaco GP for colliding with Felipe Massa’s Williams during the race. Vandoorne was running 16th when he turned in on a fast-approaching Massa at Turn 1 on lap 34. Massa was able to continue, but Vandoorne ended up in the gravel with broken suspension.

Jenson Button handed 15-place grid penalty

On his one-off return to F1 to replace Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button has been given a 15 place grid penalty thanks to a new turbocharger and a MGU-H element. Button is driving Alonso’s MCL32 as the Spaniard competes in Indy 500.



Q1 starts with Kimi Raikkonen emerging from the pits as the first driver out on track. Many drivers want to get their laps in early as there is 11 drivers out on track. Raikkonen goes quickest on a 1:14:296 with Sebastian Vettel on a 1:14:361. Valterri Bottas comes round and produces a slow first lap on a 1:22:282 while Raikkonen goes even quicker on a 1:13:496. Vettel is able to beat him on his next lap with a 1:13:289 with Bottas on a 1:13:821. Lewis Hamilton is next with a 1:13:900 with Jenson Button on a 1:14:220. it looks like both Mercedes and Red Bull drivers are taking two warm up laps before they go for their lap. Raikkonen and Vettel improve again on a 1:13:117 and a 1:13:219.

With 3 minutes to go, Romain Grosjean, Lance Stroll, Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson are in the drop-zone. In the final minute, Ericsson stops and a replay shows that he hit the barrier at turn 10 damaging his left-rear tyre. Palmer cannot get through to Q2 but Grosjean can, pushing Esteban Ocon out. Q1 ends with Max Verstappen quickest ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Out: Ericsson – 20th, Wehrlein – 19th, Stroll – 18th, Palmer – 17th and Ocon – 16th


Q2 Starts with Valterri Bottas emerging from the pits as the first driver out on track. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are once again quite close on a 1:12:780 and a 1:12:885. Lewis Hamilton has a scary moment going round turn 3. He manages to save the rear of the car and survives for another lap. Max Verstappen seems to have the edge over Daniel Ricciardo so far on a 1:12:896 and a 1:13:011. Hamilton’s next runs is only a 1:14:106. The lap is only good enough for 13th. Raikkonen once again improves on a 1:12:231.

With 3 minutes to go, Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz, Kevin Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa are currently in the drop-zone. Hamilton is on his final lap and he is on course to get through to the final qualifying session. The yellow flags are out as Hamilton exits the 2nd Sector and its Stoffel Vandoorne in the barrier at turn 16. Hamilton’s qualifying is over, he is out. Q2 ends with Kimi Raikkonen quickest ahead of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

Out: Massa – 15th, Hamilton – 14th, Magnussen – 13th, Hulkenberg – 12th and Kvyat – 11th


Due to his crash at the end of Q2, Stoffel Vandoorne will not compete in the final session. Carlos Sainz is the first driver out on track. Kimi Raikkonen sets the benchmark time of a 1:12:296 with Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo on a 1:13:136 and a 1:12:998. Vettel improves on his next lap to a 1:13:002.

With 3minutes and 30 seconds to go, the cars head out for their final laps. Valterri Bottas improves to a 1:12:559 but he continues for another lap. Raikkonen improves to a 1:12:178. That’s his final lap and now he has to wait and see what Vettel and Bottas can do. Vettel is quick through sector 1 with Bottas as well. Vettel has a poor middle sector and has lost a couple of tenths. Vettel comes across the line and goes 2nd on a 1:12:491. What can Bottas do? He goes 3rd. Kimi Raikkonen is on Pole Position for the Monaco GP! Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo end up 4tht and 5th.

Top 10: Vandoorne – 10th, Button – 9th, Grosjean 8th, Perez – 7th, Sainz – 6th, Ricciardo – 5th, Verstappen – 4th, Bottas – 3rd, Vettel – 2nd and Raikkonen – 1st

Qualifying Result

1.Raikkonen  2.Vettel  3.Bottas  4.Verstappen  5.Ricciardo  6.Sainz  7.Perez  8.Grosjean  9.Kvyat  10.Hulkenberg  11.Magnussen  12.Vandoorne*  13.Hamilton  14.Massa  15.Ocon  16.Palmer  17.Stroll  18.Wehrlein  19.Ericsson*  20.Button*

* Penalties applied

Ericsson* has been given a five-place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.

  • Kimi Raikkonen secures Pole Position and his first Pole since France 2008. It is also the first time that he has out-qualified teammate Sebastian Vettel this year. Raikkonen’s best qualifying result before this was 2nd.
  • Carlos Sainz’s best qualifying of the year in 6th, previous 8th.
  • Sergio Perez’s best qualifying of the year in 7th, previous 8th.
  • It was the first time that Lewis Hamilton failed to make it through to Q3 since the Italian GP 2013.


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