Raikkonen takes first pole for nine years, Hamilton starts midfield in Monaco
Kimi Raikkonen stormed to his first pole position since 2008 by beating Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas by less than half a tenth after Lewis Hamilton was eliminated in Q2.
A thrilling and competitive qualifying session saw Ferrari lock out the front row for the second race weekend in three races. Valtteri Bottas only just missed out on second by two-thousandths of a second, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo starting fourth and fifth respectively.
Lewis Hamilton was caught out by a late yellow flag in Q2 after struggle to find grip in his Mercedes, he will start 13th on the grid for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Track temperatures topped 50 degrees as qualifying began in Monaco. There was a rush of cars who took to the circuit, with the Ferraris, Red Bulls and Mercedes all out straight away on ultra soft tyres.
As in final practice, it was the second timed lap that was proving the quickest. Ferrari set the early pace with Vettel posting a 1’13.289, with Mercedes only managing high 1’13s, until Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen lowered the quickest times in the Red Bulls.
After crashing in final practice, Esteban Ocon took to the circuit with ten minutes in the session after Force India successfully repaired the Frenchman’s car.
Romain Grosjean spun his Haas at Mirabeau, leaving him vulnerable in the drop zone. As time expired, there was a straight fight between the two Frenchmen of Ocon and Grosjean to make it through into Q2, with Grosjean able to improve enough on his last lap to eliminate the Force India driver.
Jolyon Palmer was also eliminated in P17, almost a second off Nico Hulkenberg’s pace, with Lance Stroll failing to make it through the first session after a suspected hydraulic leak on his Williams.
The two Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson were the slowest in the session, with Ericsson clipping the inside barrier at the chicane forcing him out with a broken left-rear wheel.