Ferrari has secured a front row lock-out in Monaco. Kimi Raikkonen edged out team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.043 seconds, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas 0.002secs further back in third.
It’s the most famous and challenging track on the calendar, the one which calls for maximum performance from both the car and the driver. Securing pole position here is more of a reward than anywhere else; locking out the front row is a synonym for sensational team work.
At Monaco today, Scuderia Ferrari did it. The last one-two for the team on the grid in the Principality dates back to 2008. A perfect lap crowned Raikkonen’s performance through the weekend so far, giving him his 17th pole position in Formula One. Vettel’s lap was only slightly less perfect, with a gap of just over four hundredths of a second to his team-mate at the finish line.
Jenson Button will start from the back after qualifying ninth on his return to F1 because of a grid penalty. But perhaps amazingly, Lewis Hamilton starts in 14th as he struggled for grip throughout the session and was eliminated in Q2 – after being unable to complete a lap that would have put him into Q3 owing to yellow flags for a crashed car.