Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 finish at Monaco

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Monaco, Monte Carlo Circuitmc

Sebastian Vettel won the Monaco Grand Prix to secure Ferrari's first win at the principality since 2001. His Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen finished in second place while Daniel Ricciardo recovered from a disappointing 5th place on the grid to complete the podium.

When the lights went out, Raikkonen made a solid getaway to maintain his lead from pole position. Vettel slotted in behind, ahead of Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo and Sainz. Perez, Grosjean, Magnussen and Hulkenberg completed the top 10 in the early stages of the race, underlining few position changes during the start.

Lewis Hamilton completed the first lap in 12th, ahead of Vandoorne. At the back, Wehrlein followed 18s behind 18th after the first lap but was still ahead of Button who had started the pitlane. The duo pitted at the end of the first lap The latter was called up by Alonso before the start, saying "Jenson, my friend, I'm sure you wanted to hear my voice before the race. Take care of my car". Button jokingly replied: "Thanks. I'll pee in your seat".

Wehrlein was later given a 5s time penalty for an unsafe release, but that obviously didn't change the fact Button was now stuck behind the Sauber driver.

On lap 16, Hulkenberg became the firstto retire from the race, suffering a gearbox problem on his Renault car. White smoke billowed out of the left hand side of his car before he eventually decided to park his car at Portier.

Sergio Perez pitted moments later, changing to super soft tyres and trading his broken front wing for a new one. The latter rejoined the race in 16th position, just behind Stroll and nearly 10 seconds ahead of Ericsson.

After 21 laps, the front positions hadn't changed at all, with Raikkonen continuing to lead his team mate by approximately 1.5 seconds. Bottas followed 5 seconds down, with Verstappen and Ricciardo each another 3 seconds further back. Sainz in 6th by that time was already trailing the race leader by 22 seconds. Grosjean and Magnussen followed in 7th and 8th, ahead of Kyat and Hamilton, who moved up into the top 10 thanks to Perez' stop and Hulkenberg's retirement.

On lap 26, the leaders caught up with Button, but as the Finn had trouble getting near enough to make a rapid pass, Bottas happily closed the gap to the Ferraris ahead of him. Once all three had passed Wehrlein and Button, Bottas was less than 4s down on Raikkonen.

On lap 33, Verstappen was the first ot make a regular stop, followed by Bottas one lap later. The Finn only just managed to retain his advantage to the Red Bull. Raikkonen pitted on lap 35 while at the same time Ricciardo pushed to set a new fastest lap, enjoying the free track ahead of him following the stops from Verstappen and Bottas.

Ricciardo pitted on lap 39 and rejoined largely ahead of Bottas, gaining 2 positions during the pitstops. Another lap later, Vettel pitted and returned to the track slightly ahead of Raikkonen, hence taking the lead of the race.

Meanwhile, Hamilton and Vandoorne continued on with their first stints, exploiting their ultra softs as much as possible. One behind the other, they jointly progressed as others stopped, with Hamilton ending up 6th and Vandoorne 7th by lap 42. Two laps later, Vandoorne pitted and dropped back to 10th, 6 seconds down on Kvyat and 4 seconds ahead of Sergio Perez.

Another two laps later, Hamilton pitted as well. His crew changed his tyres in 2.7 seconds, following which the Briton rejoined the track in 7th, just ahead of Grosjean and Kvyat.

Once Raikkonen was second, Vettel steadily opened up the gap to his team mate, up to a point where it looked like Raikkonen was simply taking it easy. By lap 57, the Finn had just 1.7s left on Ricciardo, while the gap to Vettel in front of him had increased to more than 12 seconds.

On lap 60, finally the safety car was needed, as Pascal Wehrlein ended up with his Sauber parked on the left wheels. The German was stuck in the car as the tyre barier was pressing against his helmet. The German had ended up in this situation as Button attempted an overtake at Portier, probably something Wehrlein was unaware of as he simply turned right, as one would normally do. Button similarly had nowhere to go either and eventually saw his front left suspension getting smashed against the right hand sidepod of the Sauber. Button retired, and Wehrlein was safely extracted once the car was back on its four wheels.

Funnily, Ericsson ended Sauber's day just 4 laps later. When he was allowed to unlap himself, he drove past the safety car and went straight on at Ste Devote. Quite clearly a moment to forget rapidly for the Swede.

On the restart, both Ferrari went on unchallenged, but behind them, Ricciardo struggled with cool tyres and brushed the wall at Ste Devote, only narrowly maintaining his position ahead of a challenging Bottas and Verstappen.

In the battle for 10th, Perez went for the inside of Ste Devote. Vandoorne left some room, but subsequently failed to make the corner, and retired from a possible points scoring position. This obviously meant the continuation of a point-less season for McLaren, even though qualifying had shown so much promise for them here and previously at the Spanish Grand Prix.

On lap 73, Perez went on with his quest to progress, attempting to pass Kvyat at La Rascasse. He did however end up bumping his front wheel into the Toro Rosso, nearly sending himself in a spin, and forcing a retirement for Kvyat. Perez briefly went on in 9th, but subsequently pitted and dropped down to last place. His new set of tyres and the clear track ahead of him still allowed him to set the fastest lap of the race, which was also the all time race lap record thus far at Monaco.

Lance Stroll on the other hand retired with mechanical trouble.

In the end, Vettel secured the first Ferrari win at Monaco since 2001, while Raikkonen completed the party, securing the team's 90th 1st and 2nd place finish.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarLapsTimePts
15Sebastian VettelFerrari781:44:44.34025
27Kimi RäikkönenFerrari78+3.145s18
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer78+3.745s15
477Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG78+5.517s12
533Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer78+6.199s10
655Carlos SainzToro Rosso78+12.038s8
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG78+15.801s6
88Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari78+18.150s4
919Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes78+19.445s2
1020Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari78+21.443s1
1130Jolyon PalmerRenault78+22.737s0
1231Esteban OconForce India Mercedes78+23.725s0
1311Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes78+39.089s0
1426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso71DNF0
1518Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes71DNF0
NC2Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda66DNF0
NC9Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari63DNF0
NC22Jenson ButtonMcLaren Honda57DNF0
NC94Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari57DNF0
NC27Nico HulkenbergRenault15DNF0