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Raikkonen takes pole for Monaco GP; Hamilton finishes P14

2017-05-27 15:54

ICEMAN TAKES POLE: Kimi Raikkonen is in pole poosition for the Monaco GP tomorrow, securing the front row for Ferrari with Vettel in P2. Image: AFP

Monaco — Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen took pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday (May 27), and title contender Lewis Hamilton failed to make the top 10 in a significant blow for Mercedes.

Ferrari has been quick all weekend and championship leader Sebastian Vettel starts on the front row alongside team mate Raikkonen. Vettel left it late but pushed Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas back to third. Red Bull's Max Verstappen starts fourth.

'It was nice'

Raikkonen's last pole was at the French GP as far back as 2008. The 37-year-old Finnish driver got a leading time of 1min12.178 seconds — just ahead of Vettel's 1min12.221.

As it happened: 2017 Monaco Grand Prix - Qualifying

"It doesn't guarantee anything for tomorrow. Nevertheless, I'll happily take it," Raikkonen said. "I was very happy with the car. It was nice, straightforward qualifying."

Hamilton headed into the weekend six points behind Vettel and aiming to move level with Ayrton Senna's total of 65 pole positions. Instead, the three-time F1 champion could only get the 14th best time.

While Vettel and Raikkonen took 1-2 earlier in final practice, Hamilton was only fifth.

His form failed to improve in qualifying, twice wobbling on the track after losing grip on his car.

"This weekend has been a bit tricky for us," said Bottas, who clocked 1:12.223. "It was quite difficult to get a lap together and Lewis also struggled with that. Ferrari had the upper hand in general."

Vettel narrowly missed out on a 48th career pole.

"The car was really nice to drive. I was probably a bit too greedy and wanted a bit too much," Vettel said. "The bottom line is that it's a great result for the team."

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