Ferrari triumph divides drivers after team orders

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who was unlucky not to win previous year, finished third for Red Bull, despite hitting the barrier at Ste Devote, ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull.

Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix clearly underlined how Mercedes is not the force it was, with Lewis Hamilton, who has won two of his three world titles with Mercedes, finishing seventh and new recruit Valtteri Bottas taking fourth place.

Hamilton, described by Wolff as a "team player" this season after years of intra-team scrapping with retired 2016 champion German Nico Rosberg, is now 25 points adrift of Vettel in the drivers' title race.

The pole sitter was leading the prestigious race until the round of pitstops, when his Ferrari teammate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel stayed out longer and re-emerged to win.

"It wasn't clear how the tyre would perform", Wolff said.

"They are finally where we were back in the days when you finish one and two and you have to explain why the right guy won", Wolff said.

'I like being an underdog because the underdog is the one people want to see win.

"Today, as a team, we wanted a one-two".

"That inconsistency has been following us through the season, and on the opposite side Ferrari put the auto on track in Barcelona and they were quick from the get-go", said Wolff.

"I knew that the team would call me as soon as we were really tight to Valtteri".

It is the second race weekend this season that Hamilton has failed to finish on the podium - while Vettel has finished no lower than second in 2017 - following the Briton's uncharacteristically below-par display in Russian Federation.

"We've definitely got to improve in understanding the auto and do a better job".

When asked how he felt about the race after looking downbeat on the podium, Raikkonen said: "I don't know".

"It's obviously a great day for the team. great to get the points, great to get the win", said Vettel. "We just have to make sure we are ahead of them so we don't have to be in that same scenario that they were in [on Sunday]".

"First of all they deserved to be there, they had the quickest auto out there". At some point I was thinking, 'there must be a Safety Car, ' and then it came at the end, when I didn't really need it, but fine.

"We do not give team orders", team boss Maurizio Arrivabene is quoted by Iltalehti.

Things nearly changed late in the race when on lap 61 of the Grand Prix Jenson Button, in his last race ever, sent 22-year-old Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein airborne and his vehicle onto its side against the fence at Portier. "This is the reality of it at the moment".

  • Julie Sanders