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Raikkonen clinches pole position in Monaco Grand Prix

The Monaco Grand prix, one of the more exciting races to catch in the Formula 1 calendar has finally descended upon us in this 2017 season. Amidst the glitz and glamour of the rich and famous, the street track will bring extreme competitiveness between the racers as they manoeuvre through tight corners and chicanes. In yesterday’s qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen from team Ferrari has managed clinch the pole position ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel. It looks like it will be a Ferrari front row later today.

Coming in third is Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. In a shocker, Lewis Hamilton is in 14th position due to a yellow flag which hampered his Q3 qualifying. In a circuit which has extremely narrow roads and limited overtaking opportunities, starting behind 13 other cars is going to be extremely difficult for the Brit to catch up.

I really struggled with the car today and I just don’t think the opportunity was quite there for me. It was a little bit unfortunate with the yellow flag, but it doesn’t really matter now if I could have gone faster. I think that lap may have just got me into the top 10 but I would have struggled to make it into the top five with the pace that I had. Valtteri didn’t have any struggles today so I’m a bit confused and I can’t pinpoint the problem at the moment. I’m feeling pretty deflated right now but I’ll try again tomorrow. It’s great that Valtteri extracted a good lap. We just need to identify why I wasn’t able to be up there too. Onwards and upwards.” – Lewis Hamilton

“It’s great to be on pole position” said Kimi, “this is one of the races where it is probably most important to be at the front. Half of the job is done, but we still have a big challenge in front of us tomorrow. So far so good, I’m happy with the car. This is a very special place, it’s been a bit tricky to get everything working as we wanted, but in qualifying things fell into place: and very small things make a massive difference in the lap time here . We got it right, the team put me in a very good position every time; things were running smoothly and hopefully tomorrow we can get a great result with both cars. We have to make a good start and try to stay out of trouble. It’s quite a short run to the first corner, cars are wide and it’s tricky to pass. We’ll try to do our best, but it’s not going to be easy, as many things can happen out of your control. The most important thing for me is to be in the same position tomorrow when it comes to the end”.

As for Sebastian, he’s not making any excuses for missing out on pole today: “I am not happy with myself because pole position was up for grabs, but it’s great for the team. If I had to give up pole position and hand it to someone, I would choose Kimi. I am happy for him. He did a very good job in qualifying. As I said, it’s been fantastic for the team, but I am not totally happy with my performance today. I should have done a better job overall. The car was good, so it was my mistake. I was a bit too greedy in my last run. Now it is impossible to make predictions for tomorrow, all we have to think about is the start, the pace, the strategy, and then try to put everything together. So, we are going to prepare for the race as usual”.

Here are the full results from qualifying.

1 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:13.117 1:12.231 1:12.178 23
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:13.090 1:12.449 1:12.221 23
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:13.325 1:12.901 1:12.223 30
4 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:13.078 1:12.697 1:12.496 24
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:13.219 1:13.011 1:12.998 21
6 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 1:13.526 1:13.397 1:13.162 30
7 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:13.530 1:13.430 1:13.329 23
8 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:13.786 1:13.203 1:13.349 29
9 22 Jenson Button MCLAREN HONDA 1:13.723 1:13.453 1:13.613 27
10 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:13.476 1:13.249 20
11 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 1:13.899 1:13.516 19
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:13.787 1:13.628 21
13 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:13.531 1:13.959 20
14 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:13.640 1:14.106 18
15 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:13.796 1:20.529 20
16 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:14.101 7
17 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 1:14.696 11
18 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:14.893 7
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER FERRARI 1:15.159 11
20 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:15.276 11