Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monaco, 2017

Vettel strikes body blow to Mercedes and Raikkonen in Monaco

2017 Monaco Grand Prix review

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Everyone hates finishing second at Monaco.

Whether it’s Ayrton Senna in 1984, Nigel Mansell in 1992, Lewis Hamilton in 2007, or even Daniel Ricciardo last year, there’s something about the Monte Carlo streets that seems to make the pain of defeat feel all the more raw.

And so it was that this year, Kimi Raikkonen would become the latest man to accept the bitter taste of just missing out on a Monaco Grand Prix victory when it had seemed so within grasp.

A one-two for Ferrari it may have been, but Raikkonen’s post-race demeanor suggested that this would be far from a morale-boosting result for all of the Scuderia.

Raikkonen sets the early pace

Conditions were postcard-perfect as the field lined up on the grid for the start of the sixth race of what is becoming an enthralling 2017 season.

In what we all hope will be a season-long championship battle between red and silver, Mercedes had presented Ferrari with a golden opportunity in qualifying to strike a punishing blow in the standings on Sunday after Lewis Hamilton was eliminated in Q2, fighting desperately to find grip.

Surely, a second front row lock out in three races meant that Ferrari were already half way towards a one-two finish around these Monaco streets?

As the lights went out, both Ferraris leapt out into the lead with, Raikkonen successfully converting his pole into the lead as he rounded St Devote. Vettel rebuffed a half-hearted attempt from Bottas to sniff his Mercedes up the inside and the 20 cars duly entered into the early phase of the race in same form that they had started it.

With no crashes, collisions or even contact of note, the early Safety Car intervention that all the team’s strategists either feared or hoped would occur failed to materialise. Such was the lack of tyre degradation in practice, it appeared that the race would follow a predictable pattern of a one stop strategy as soon as the super soft tyre window was reached.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monaco, 2017
Raikkonen led from Vettel at the start
Raikkonen opened up a modest gap to his championship-leading team mate in second, with Bottas falling back by roughly half a second a lap from the rear of Vettel’s Ferrari. In this early stage, it seemed virtually certain that today would be the day that Ferrari finally snapped their 16 year wait for victory at Monaco.

Having started in the midfield, Lewis Hamilton was having no success in making progress through the field in the Mercedes. Staring at the back of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, Hamilton appeared to have little power to get close enough to put the Russian under any significant pressure.

The task was made slightly easier for Hamilton when Nico Hulkenberg’s Reanult engine begin smoking up the hill from St Devote to Casino Square – a problem quickly identified by Hulkenberg’s engineer as a “major gearbox problem”. Hulkenberg pulled off at Portier, forced out of a potential points scoring position and into his first retirement of the season.

Sergio Perez had drama of a less severe nature, when the front wing of his Force India began to become dislodged as he exited the tunnel on the run down to the harbour chicane. The team pitted the Mexican for a new nose and a set of super softs before sending him on his way.

Further back, Jenson Button was attempting to enjoy his unique cameo appearance for McLaren in substitute for the Indianapolis-bound Fernando Alonso. A 15-place grid penalty for yet more Honda competent changes will almost certainly have reminded him of what he hasn’t missed about the sport and having started from the pitlane, Button was entirely reliant on Lady Luck to enjoy any meaningful progress through the field on this sunny afternoon.

Button immediately pitted on lap one, switching from the ultra softs he had been forced to start on for a new set of super softs that would surely last him for the remaining 77 laps. Pascal Wehrlein, who had also opted to pit on the first lap, was released into the path of the McLaren, dooming the Sauber driver to a five second time penalty.

It would prove to be not the only incident between the two drivers that afternoon.

Overcut strategy wins the day

Pirelli’s pre-race advice that the theoretical best strategy would be to take your sole stop on lap 28 was promptly ignored by the entire field. Max Verstappen was the first of the front runners to pit at the end of lap 32, with Mercedes immediately covering the move by boxing Bottas from third the next lap and retaining the position.

Then, it was Ferrari’s turn to stop. Raikkonen had the privilege of taking on fresh super soft tyres first on lap 34, but Vettel opted to stay out and attempt to press on on his older tyres to try and overcut his team mate to snatch the lead and, ultimately, the win from him.

Immediately, Vettel upped his pace, using the clear track to his advantage and lowering the fastest lap of the race to date. Behind Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo was also making hay in the sunshine and matching him for pace, looking increasingly threatening to Bottas and Verstappen who found themselves caught behind the yet-to-stop Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz.

When Vettel finally pitted on lap 39, it looked like it would be touch and go to decide which of the two Ferrari drivers would resume the lead and, with it, the Monaco Grand Prix. A second smart stop from the Ferrari mechanics had the championship leader on his way in no time at all and all eyes turned to the pit exit to see which of the two prancing horses would reach Casino Square first.

Raikkonen blasted past the pits, but Vettel was already back on track and hurtling towards St Devote. Vettel was ahead. Just five extra laps helped to turn a one second deficit into a two second advantage. The lead and, seemingly, the victory was now his to lose.

Bottas and Verstappen were jumped by Ricciardo
Behind, Ricciardo had also made the sharp right after Rascasse to make his sole visit through the pit lane. Like his former team mate, Ricciardo had found great benefit from being able to push with a clear track. A benefit that also eneabled him not just to resume ahead of team mate Verstappen, but also leapfrog Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes and up into third position.

Having seen his team’s attempt to help him past Bottas serve only to allow his team mate to take the pair of them, Verstappen was decidedly less than impressed.

“What a (censored by FOM) disaster,” bemoaned the Red Bull driver. While it was hard not to appreciate the young Dutchman’s frustrations, the irony of a Red Bull pit strategy call in Monaco ultimately benefiting Ricciardo was difficult to ignore.

Hamilton’s only chance of making further progress into the top ten was to employed a similar tactic to Vettel and Ricciardo. By staying out until lap 45, Hamilton only lost a single position to Carlos Sainz Jr’s Red Bull, putting him in seventh position on merit.

Button almost turns race and Wehrlein on head

Back at the front, Vettel was finally ahead of his team mate and quickly began to open up a gap to Raikkonen that the Finn had been unable to do to in the first stint.

Fears over what 2017’s new, higher-downforce regulations could do for the prospects of overtaking around a circuit like Monaco were being realised. With the solitary stops for each of the cars now out of the way, it seemed like positions looked set to remain as their were over the course of the final 30 laps.

Button, having driven a frustratingly uneventful race so far, attempted to make his own entertainment by offering a late and ill-judged move up the inside of Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber into Portier. It didn’t work and only the tyre wall saved Wehrlein’s world from being turned completely upside down by the move.

The Safety Car was deployed as Wehrlein’s Sauber sat, awkwardly, on its side propped up against the wall. It was as unusual a scene as it was a concerning one, but after a couple of nervous laps, Wehrlein was successfully extracted from the car, apparently fine.

With Button’s car also terminally wounded from the collision, the McLaren driver’s difficult one-off return to the sport, and probably his Formula One career, was now over.

It was a sad end to both, with Button apologising to the team for not returning Fernando Alonso’s car in much the same state in which he had been given it. But the grid penalty that will never be served will forever provide an amusing footnote to the former champion’s career.

Suddenly, the cars were now all within reach of each other once more. Verstappen took to the pits for a fresh set of tyres with renewed hope of being able to challenge Bottas on track, while Felipe Massa did the same in the Williams.

Tyre warm up had been the defining issue in qualifying and with drivers now restricted to painfully slow speeds behind the Safety Car, there were vocal concerns from Lance Stroll about how car performance would be affected by the drop in tyre temperature once the race restarted.

Ericsson and Vandoorne both crashed at St Devote
Concerns that seemed legitimate when Marcus Ericsson took off from the queue to unlap himself behind the Safety Car, only to promptly slide off into the barriers at St Devote in one of the more embarrassing retirements of recent seasons.

When the race resumed on lap 67, Vettel gingerly led from his team mate while, behind, Ricciardo was lucky to survive without broken suspension after a significant tap with the wall exiting St Devote.

Stoffel Vandoorne compounded another point-less afternoon for McLaren by also crashing into the St Devote barriers in similar style to Ericsson, all meaningful grip appearing to have abandoned the car.

Vettel consolidates championship lead

The immediate laps at the restart were run at a pace so slow, it was hard to believe that track conditions had not dramatically altered during the Safety Car intervention.

The sheer lack of tyre temperature also scuppered any realistic opportunities for drivers to attempt a serious overtaking challenge on their rivals, with the front runners all able to retain their positions.

Sergio Perez, however, decided that he was not prepared to simply accept his position behind Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso and dared to try a very late lunge down the inside of the Russian into Rascasse. It was a clumsy attempt and the two inevitably collided, damage to the Toro Rosso ultimately forcing Kvyat to stop the car at Casino Square. Perez would receive two penalty points for his efforts.

Back at the front, tyre temperatures were back to normal and despite Raikkonen’s best efforts, there would be no opportunity for him to attempt to take back his lost early lead. Vettel jubilantly crossed the line to take Ferrari’s first Monaco Grand Prix win in 16 years, his second win around the Principality and his third victory of the 2017 season.

Nico Rosberg, Monaco, 2017
Raikkonen was not satisfied with finishing second
Raikkonen was forced to settle for that most disappointing of second places and did little to mask his frustrations during the podium ceremony. Vettel may have extended his championship lead to 25 points and the one-two may have moved Ferrari ahead of Mercedes in the constructors’ championship, but it was clear that not everyone in red would leave Monaco satisfied with the weekend’s result.

Daniel Ricciardo joined the two Ferraris on the podium, likely equally pleased to have executed his strategy so effectively to put him there but also that Red Bull showed themselves to be significantly closer to Ferrari and Mercedes this weekend compared to Spain.

Valtteri Bottas gave what he could to answer Ferrari’s performance over the weekend but was unable to make any real impact into Mercedes’s championship rivals before losing out to Ricciardo in the pits.

Carlos Sainz impressed once more with a brilliantly professional drive to sixth in what the Toro Rosso described as a ‘perfect’ result. He may not have featured much on the notoriously sketchy Monaco coverage, but those that matter will not have overlooked this performance.

Hamilton crossed the line in seventh, recovering as best he could from his 13th place start. As much of a brave face that the Mercedes driver put on after the race, this weekend will surely have felt like significant body blow to the reigning champions in what looks increasingly like a battle that will rage all season long.

Haas enjoyed a solid if quiet weekend, bringing home two cars in the points for Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in eighth and tenth respectively for Haas’s first ever dual points finish. Haas’s success came at the expense of Force India, who failed to get both of their drivers into the top ten for only the first time this season.

With Sebastian Vettel having beaten his team mate to victory after one of Kimi Raikkonen’s strongest weekends since his return to the Ferrari team, it remains to be seen how much of an impact this race will have on the team dynamic that exists at Marenello.

While there is still such a long way to go in the season, Vettel’s third win from six races has made him a clear early favourite to become a five time world champion come the end of the year. For Raikkonen, winning in Monaco would have been the perfect way to bring him into contention for this year’s title.

As much as Vettel’s win has given him the upper hand over his Mercedes rivals, it has also served to do the same over his team mate.

It is now up to both Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen to hit back in Canada.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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66 comments on “Vettel strikes body blow to Mercedes and Raikkonen in Monaco”

  1. You left out the part where Raikkonen’s pace drop started to bunch up the field again. At one point Kimi was struggling so much that even Sainz was quicker. Raikkonen though seemed quick at the start and after the safety car. Hamilton although hampered by other cars dirty air was slow at first but by the end of the race was genuinely quick. Tyre pressures, the dark art of tyres is the story still in f1 2017.

    1. Or maybe Raikkonen was just saving tyres in the case of a late safety car so he had the opportunity to fight Vettel at the restart?

      It doesn’t change much if you finish second 0.5 seconds behind your team mate or 20 seconds behind your team mate.

  2. It felt like Malaysia 2013 in a sense, a result with huge implications within a team but without the actual battle on track and the team orders getting in the way like that day at Sepang. It was kinda natural, wasn’t it? or maybe I’m biased because it was Webber that suffered back then (he deserved it, tho). Somehow, we all saw it coming. But maybe Kimi is just so popular that, like Webber that day, we can’t accept the result?

    In any case, I believe Seb won this fair and square. He was just faster and he also got lucky with Ericsson, who pitted just as Seb was approaching him, giving both SV and Daniel Ricciardo more time and space to stretch their legs with the ultra softs. It could’ve gone both ways in the end. I don’t think it was a blatant move by Ferrari.

    Maybe it’s the Pirellis. They keep changing the moment in which they switch on with the constant changes in tyre pressure. It’s preventing Mercedes of getting that car to work in a wider window and changing the way strategies are resolved across the whole field.

    But ultimately, instead of drawing comparisions with Sepang 2013 maybe I should compare it with Spain 2016? a strategy not working as they thought, and benefiting the other driver in the same team.

    Bad luck Kimi, but you were never meant to fight for the championship anyway: previous races this season and your past 3 years with the team show that. So don’t put your head down, you still did superb for a number 2 driver!

    1. All very interesting comparisons Malaysia 2013 being about asserting dominance within your team. Spain 16 being about team strategies and how there’s always that one guy who losses out during pitstops as the optimum strategy is only 1
      I have another 1 Singapore 15 where the Mercedes didn’t seem to work at all

    2. I don’t think Ferrari deliberately pitted Kimi to give Vettel the win, and I have a strong feeling that Kimi doesn’t feel that this is the case as well. What I think is that Kimi is secondary to them: he wasn’t told he is about to pit with enough time (if I remember correctly, he started to push in the middle sector) and was released straight into traffic. You get the feeling that the strategists are discussing the best strategy for Vettel, Kimi’s engineer ask them when is the right time to pit Kimi, and they said around lap 30, and resume their serious discussion about Vettel and his race.

  3. Regarding the overcut working for Ricciardo and Sebastian, it actually worked for both of them but due to completely different reasons.
    In Ricciardo’s case, Verstappen and Bottas got stuck behind Sainz who was fighting for position as he hadn’t stopped (similar to Hamilton vs Verstappen at Melbourne). I believe that it was genuinely the wrong strategy by Red Bull to pit Verstappen. Mercedes got suckered into the same wrong strategy because by that time they were focused on maintaining track position over Red Bulls.
    I’m Sebastian’s case, Raikkonen wasn’t put behind Sainz. He only had backmarker traffic which one could assume can be cleared quicker. Either Kimi struggled with the tyres or closing up to backmarkers, or backmarkers were extremely uncooperative. Either ways, it doesn’t seem like an out-and-out bad strategy like the one Verstappen and Bottas received.
    Had Ferrari decided to pit Vettel first and if Vettel had managed to clear the backmarkers fast (which he was capable of given his later pace on super softs), it would still have resulted in him jumping Kimi. And there would still be accusations of subtle team orders.

    I think such insinuations should be made against Red Bull, not Ferrari.
    @Fer-no65 above is right. The parallels with Spain 2016 make sense (especially in case of Red Bull)

    1. Based on the lap times in clean air Ricciardo was always going to jump Bottas and Verstappen, as Bottas was really slow after his stop. Räikkönen, however, was pushing like mad after his stop to keep Vettel behind. Vettel was also pushing like mad. Maybe he was lucky with the back-markers or maybe his old ultrasofts were slightly faster still than Räikkönen’s supersofts, but it was very tight. Räikkönen only slowed down after Vettel had gone past him.

      1. Based on the lap times in clean air Ricciardo was always going to jump Bottas and Verstappen

        Verstappen had only 1 lap (33) in clean air, so based on @F1inFigures ;) it is hard to prove the second part of your statement.
        Especially since before that he left less of a ‘clean’ air gap to Bottas than Ricciardo left to him, and he (apparently) easily closed the gap again before his pit stop
        He had clean air during quali though and beat Ricciardo by half a second.

        PS I don’t think his outlap was compromised by Sainz as there was a 4sec gap between them.

  4. Kimi got slow because of traffic and he only inquired of pit stop and did ask for it. In the post race he was asked the same question Question: “So to be clear, were you asking for the stop or did they call it?”
    KR: No, I was called in and that’s about it.
    He was not told to push or anything by his engineer just called in
    In another question Q: (Ben Anderson – Autosport) Kimi, in the first stint, you seemed to have really strong pace in the early part and then from about lap 20 your pace dropped off quite substantially. Was there an explanation for that? Were you struggling with something in the car?
    KR: Not really. I think the worst place was when we had lapped cars and got stuck behind them on quite a few laps but apart from that the car was behaving well. Not really having any issues. I think we had to take it a little bit easier here and there but nothing to complain really. The most lap time we lost behind the lapped traffic but that’s about it.
    So it seems he could have stayed out and pushed and made easy gap to bottas or ves..But he was never given that chance. they knew if the pit kimi now seb can have fast laps and kimi would enter into traffic with SS and thats what they did. All of us think seb was fast and he put in fast laps and took the lead. Yes seb was fast but Ferrari played really well

    1. Bla bla bla. The fastest driver of the weekend won the race. Kimi didn’t pull 12 sec gaps. Deb was in dirty air, bid his time, and nailed it when he needed to. As much as I like Kimi and how nice it would have been for him to win the GP (and for my pocketbook), he was upstaged by his teammate who was flying on rails.

      1. Exactly!

        I would have loved for Kimi to win this race. But when Sen was able to stick within 1 sec of him I could see that regardless of pit strategy he is in for a good chance of jumping him.

        1. And did you mean Senna or Sebastian? LOL!!!

        2. But when Seb was able to stick within 1 sec of him I could see that regardless of pit strategy he is in for a good chance of jumping him

          . Yes. Vettel was faster than Raikkonen and would have jumped ahead whether he had to do it by an overcut or undercut.

      2. Did you mean Debbie or Sebbie LOL!!!

      3. Why didn’t the fastest driver of the weekend outqualify his teammate?

        Kimi was pitted into traffic. To believe a team like Ferrari didn’t know that is absolutely ridiculous.

  5. As soon as Kimi exited the pits he was bogged down behind slower traffic. He spent the next 5 laps trying to get around slower backmarkers who were fighting their own battles while Vettel was doing fast laps in clean air on the faster tire.

    This isn’t a knock on Vettel, he did what he had to do. This is not a conspiracy theory against Ferrari. Just an objective and logical look at how this happened.

    1. It’s not all that objective and logical, since it omits to mention how Ericsson pitted from out of Vettels path, without which the “clean air” in question would not have existed. Or were Ericson and Sauber part of the Ferrari plot?

      1. The fact is Vettel had clean air, not how he got it, at least not for me anyway. People are welcome to their conspiracy theories as they wish. :-)

    2. @bullmello

      no that is just incorrect. Let’s look at actual data (h/t to another commentator on another website for putting this table together):

      Lap RAI VET Comments
      31 77.04 77.166
      32 77.66 77.05 (Lapped cars)
      33 77.03 77.18
      34 94.03 76.59 (Kimi Pits)
      35 79.59 76.46 (Comes out Behind BUT)
      36 76.11 76.26 (On SS tyres\Overtook ERI, followed him through sector 3)
      37 75.58 76.11 (Clean Lap for RAI \Clearly shows pace os SS)
      38 75.60 75.23 (Clean Lap VET(us) & RAI(ss))
      39 75.52 92.67 (VET pits/SS/ Pitstop faster by 1.36s for VET)
      40 77.70 78.65
      41 77.67 76.19 (RAI gives up)

      So, except for lap 35, his first lap out of the pits, and then on Vettel’s in lap, Kimi was faster on the new SS than Vet on used US. The big difference was the 75.23 Vet did on lap 38 which kind of came out of nowhere.

      Also, Vettel benefitted from Ericsson pitting on lap 36 which Ferrari could not have known would happen.

      If Vet doesn’t do the 75.2 on his in lap, Kimi comes out in front.

      1. I think you have reversed the times in lap 37, VET was 1:15.58 and RAI 1:16.1

      2. @uan – interesting stats, thanks.

        Looks like the killer for Raikkonen was lap 35 where Vettel gained over 3 seconds on him after he came out behind Button. Vettel also gained over one second on his pit stop compared to Kimi’s and also had the gain from lap 35 as you mentioned.

        1. *38* – “also had the gain from lap 35 as you mentioned”

        2. The difference was the in laps, Vettel’s was 2 seconds faster than Kimis

        3. @bullmello

          I think the 79.6 out lap should be compared to Vettel’s 78.6 (there’s a bit of coming up to speed there).

          From memory, Vettel’s standing pit stop was only .3 tenths faster. Kimi had an overall slower pit entrance to stop and then wheel spin when he left (and may not hit his marks as well).

          On, they also showed the difference in their respective in-laps – “(Vettel’s) in-lap on Lap 39 was mighty fast: a 1:32.673 compared to the 1:34.039 Raikkonen had set five laps previously when he stopped.” Ted K reported during the race on lap 29 that Ferrari had told Kimi to “get on with it”. I’m sure that’s their way of saying “push”. (I’m sure if they actually told Kimi to push, he’d say “yeah yeah I’m pushing all the time.” lol). And he clearly couldn’t/wouldn’t up his pace.

          Vettel was also held up by Ericsson on laps 35 & 36 which offsets Kimi needing to pass Button and WEH, which he did quicker on new SS than he could previously on his used US (he had trouble getting within a second).

          And Vettel only just came out in front of RAI. Any number of things happen in those laps, Vettel doesn’t do a 1:15.2 or RAI pushes harder on his in-lap, and we aren’t talking about this at all.

          1. @uan – Vettel’s outlap was about 1 second faster, but meaningless at that point since on his outlap he was already ahead of Kimi. The laps before then were just enough to make the difference.

        4. As Uan said, you can’t compare L35 lap times one to one. See, everyone was about 3 seconds slower in their outlap. (I’ve heard a Sky report attributed the whole 3 seconds to the traffic to corroborate their narrative.)
          Also as said, the difference in pit stop time is not all about the service time (which was less than 0.5s at best) the rest is up to the drivers.

    3. @bullmello I’m afraid those ‘five laps in traffic’ were really two where he had to pass a very willing Button and Wehrlein, he had three in clean air right away. Vettel was just way faster.

    4. @bullmello

      He spent the next 5 laps trying to get around slower backmarkers

      Actually he didn’t – the world feed footage didn’t show it well but the traffic cost him little time and he had several traffic-free laps:

      1. @keithcollantine – Well, as it turned out Vettel only needed to gain about 2 seconds in 5 laps to come out ahead of Raikkonen and he was able to do that. He was only 1.138 seconds behind when Kimi went into the pits. Kimi caught a bit of traffic, Seb didn’t.

      2. It doesn’t really matter how easily he cleared the traffic. The fact is they pit Kimi knowing he was going to come out just behind Button, but why not wait an extra lap so this wouldn’t be the case? That’s what I personally don’t understand.

        Please note: I don’t know anything about Sky commentary team, I avoid like the plague.

      3. That’s not quite true. He spent his entire outlap behind Wehrlein, who was lapping literally 3sec/lap slower. DRS didn’t help him much at all when passing Wehrlein. The average diff between out lap and next lap was somewhere around 1.5-2 seconds for the drivers who didn’t hit out lap traffic, so Kimi lost a full second behind Wehrlein in that lap at least. Possibly more considering he was faster on his 2nd, 3rd etc SS laps than Seb was (but that could be because Seb didn’t need to push once he knew he was ahead, so hard to say).

        Seb’s fast laps gained him only 0.764sec compared to Raikkonen. Are you sure it was Seb’s pace that won him the race? I’m pretty sure Raikkonen lost much more than 0.764sec in traffic.

  6. And if they have pitted Seb and he cleared back markers while Kimi is delayed behind Seb you would have said that is exactly how Ferrari have planned it and shout clear favouritism because no.2 driver was pitted first.

    It is clear: Redbull and Mercedes who have far better strategists got it also wrong. Redbull shouldn’t have pitted Verstappen and Mercedes needn’t have to respond for Bottas and Ferrari neither.

    But this is all retrospective. Things could have turned out a different way and I am sure some would have found conspiracies in them as well.

    1. Previous Monaco Grand Prix would suggest Red Bull and Mercedes don’t always have the best strategists

  7. Nokia 3310 its been written, the championship has been decided, you guys can stop watching, its over even before Australia

    1. All hail the phone. The gourd, the gourd. No the shoe, the shoe.

      1. If quoting Monty Python doesn’t deserve COTD I don’t know what will

  8. notoriously sketchy Monaco coverage

    That is a bit of an understatement.

  9. AntoineDeParis (@antoine-de-paris)
    29th May 2017, 9:04

    Lewis doesn’t understand this years tires. He gets them right accidentally. Massive homework to do.

    1. Seems that the work Seb put in to test the 2017 tyres after 2016 season finale is paying dividends.

      1. It’s more to do with the adjustable traction device that Ferrari have that’s giving them the tyre advantage and ability to maximise the tyre through its entire range.

        1. Never heard anyone call Vettel an adjustable traction device before. 😉

          1. Check out the bottom of the steering wheel for an extra dial

  10. I can understand why everybody behind the scenes loves Monaco especially sponsers) of because of the whole glamorous scene.

    In olden days when my mate Noah and I went to as many GPs as we could, not every race counted towards the championship. Is there no possibility of putting Monaco in this category, after all it is not really suitable for modern F1 cars. Then, everyone could have a great time (like a half term holiday) but without the pressure.

    1. It’s really a matter of expense for the teams that prevents them from doing a “demonstration race”. If the Principality wants to off-set the costs, it would be interesting to the teams.

    2. If it wasn’t such a poor track it would be ideal for Brawn’s non championship/ new ideas race

  11. @keithcollantine: “Raikkonen had the privilege of taking on fresh super soft tyres first”. Seriously? It seems to me that he had the “privilege” of being released in traffic with slow tyres while his teammate was left in clean air and fast tyres.

    1. RAI was in clean air almost for the whole stint

    2. @alonshow

      Kimi was doing 1:17s on US and then was banging out 1:15s with SS. He did not go onto the “slow tire”. At the same time Vet was lapping in the 1:16s on his US.

      The difference was that Vettel pulled out one astonishing 1:15.2 lap right before pitting that basically came out of nowhere. That made the difference.

      Sky announcers are pathetic at times. They can see the lap times and they just want to go with talking points to create “drama”.

      Funny how they were telling Toto Wolff after Bahrain it was time for Mercedes to declare a number 1 driver (Hamilton), yet here they are singing the opposite tune. Sad.

      1. Lap 35, Kimi’s out lap behind Wehrlein, he was 3.072 seconds slower than Seb.

        Lap 36, Kimi was 0.150s faster. Lap 37, 0.546s slower. Lap 38, 0.368s slower. Seb gained 0.764s on his three “quick laps” before pitting – not even enough to make up the gap between them before Kimi pitted.

        Kimi lost at least 1 whole second behind Wehrlein, most probably more, and at least 0.3 seconds from a slower stop. That’s what lost him the lead.

    3. @alonshow Yes, there seems no doubt they must have seen the traffic he would end up in. It’s hard to, but just like Brundle, I too believed before the race that Vettel would be ‘massaged’ into the lead.

      Horrible to see Raikkonens face after, but he took it well under the circumstances. Kudos to him.

      1. Kimi didnt deal with the back markers well enough during his first stint and the 5 seconds he lost put him in the position he was after his stop

  12. There were no team orders to me.
    In fact the pitstops were 0.3s different, not such a big deal as some want to point out.
    Sebastian was in control the whole race. He sat 2 secs behind Kimi on the early laps, he closed the gap to within one second before the pit, and when Kimmi pitted, he produced the two fastest laps of the race.
    He created a gap from then on, and after the SC.
    He just had the pace all weekend, only beaten on qualy.

    1. Yes, but Kimi countered well on the slower Super Soft tyre – it certainly wasn’t a ‘privilege’ to go onto it, as Keith tried to explain – on the contrary, everyone knew the US was very low degredation and was fundamentally a fair bit faster. In fact Vettel only gained 0.764 seconds from those fastest laps, so effective was Kimi’s counter. What really lost the race for Kimi was being stuck behind Button and Wehrlein for a lap, because his in-lap was 1.4s slower than Vettel’s- without those he wouldn’t have lost the lead.

  13. Kimi wins in Canada and the two Mercedes drivers second and third. Vettel will either come home in fourth or have a DNF.

    1. With fans like you, who needs enemies?

      1. Brilliantly observed, BobW ;)

      2. +1 lol

  14. What baffles me most is if Ferrari had wanted to use teamorders they just would’ve, no? They were not certain of a win at all, so in similar fashion where Rosberg had to let go Hamilton last year we might as well have seen Kimi let Vettel go to avoid Bottas or Verstappen challenge them. They weren’t that far off in the beginning, when it was already clear Vettel was faster.

    1. Team orders a) this early in the season, b) at Monaco, c) to a very popular driver who is currently in the lead is terrible PR.

  15. Sad race! How many overtakes on track? All the action in the pits. Less aero please.

  16. Bring back Michelin tyres.

  17. The interesting aspect coming off of this race is how will Raikkonen react in the future? Will he play the loyal servant to the Ferrari cause or will he take Vettel on head on? Up until this point the two Ferrari drivers have coexisted within the team without much fuss, but that might change.
    Back in 2014, the Hamilton/Rosberg partnership unraveled following Nico’s antics during qualifying. Seven years prior to that, Lewis Hamilton was non too impressed at being told to hold back, allowing team mate Fernando Alonso to win the Monaco Grands Prix. We all know what followed!
    Naturally, many will hope this will happen, non more so than Hamilton and everyone else within the Mercedes organization. Ferrari made no secret of the fact that they expect more from Kimi Raikkonen, they want him to help secure the constructors championship and in some extent scupper Mercedes chances.
    The problem though, is that a fully focused Raikkonen, the Kimi of a decade ago, is just as much a threat to Vettel as anyone else. He is just as much capable of winning a championship.
    When the two Ferraris’ go wheel to wheel, possibly in Canada in less than two weeks, we will have our answer.

  18. I like all of the F1 races, that is why I watch (record and then watch mostly) them now and have for decades. From back when they were the F5000. Yes Monaco is a train of cars most of the time but the proverbial half full or not depends on the fan. As another noted the Ham effect on the race ratings, it is also noticeable that no matter where the Ham finishes he usually receives a lot of votes for best driver. Thanks, Racer Norriski

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