Hamilton happy to take points and move on

Kimi Raikkonen broke a 128-race absence from the front of the F1 grid by claiming a scintillating pole position for the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix. "Tomorrow is Monaco, where anything can happen".

You had to go back to July 2010 for the last time that Ferrari had enjoyed an one-two finish in a grand prix before yesterday in Monaco. Both the safety vehicle and the medical auto were deployed, closing up what had become a typically pretty spread out Monaco field.

Ferrari has been quick all weekend and championship leader Sebastian Vettel starts on the front row alongside teammate Raikkonen. Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo finished third ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

"We can't combine both of the axles, front and rear, to be on the optimal window with the temperatures at the same time", Bottas said. That left Sebastian Vettel in the lead from Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, but Vettel also needed a new set of tires. "So much energy and work goes into these weeks", Hamilton said. Sauber's Grand Prix then turned into a double DNF before racing had even resumed, when Marcus Ericsson nosed his vehicle slowly into the barriers at Ste Devote. "It feels like a mystery".

"I was devastated after the session to the point that I could not get out of the auto", said Hamilton, whose Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas qualified third.

Monaco's tight 3.4-kilometer (2.1-mile) course is the hardest to overtake on in F1, further limiting his chances.

"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".

Now the German is six points ahead of Hamilton in the Driver's Championship.

However, Raikkonen insists he is not under team orders to clear the way for Vettel.

"I'm deflated, but I'll keep pushing tomorrow", Hamilton told Channel Four. "It just seemed like we made a stupid, silly error".

He also had very little to say in the post-race interview as he was denied his first victory since Australia in 2013.

After dominating in Spain last time out, Mercedes star Hamilton headed to the principality looking to hunt down Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' standings, but the Ferrari man looks certain to extend his six-point advantage, despite being beaten to pole by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Q1 ended with Verstappen maintaining his lead over Vettel, while Hamilton could only finish 10th.

The Finn became even quieter than usual on the team radio once the switch was done and looked completely dejected on podium.

He had to use his lightning reflexes and intuition to save big "moments" during the session at Massenet and at Casino Square on different laps in Q2 before abandoning his final flying lap after Stoffel Vandoorne crashed in his McLaren. But Hamilton was arguably too far behind to make it into the top 10 shootout.

"It doesn't really matter", Hamilton said.

Still it was a solid performance from the Australian after his brakes failed in Saturday morning practice, with the problem confirmed by Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

  • Zachary Reyes