2017 Monaco Grand Prix: Vettel ends Ferrari drought
Ferrari has not stood on the top step of the podium in Monaco since 2001, when Michael Schumacher was the last Ferrari driver to claim victory there for the Scuderia.
Qualifying saw Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel lock up the front row of the grid. With the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in P3 and Lewis Hamilton, who failed to get past Q2, down in P13, the question on everybody’s mind was: which of the two will take the win for Ferrari?
The race start saw Kimi hold off Sebastian in the run to Ste. Devote, with the rest of the grid following suit as everyone was wary of crashing out on the opening lap. Bottas held firm at P3, despite the lunge of Verstappen to try and vault past the Mercedes. Daniel Ricciardo kept his nose clean to retain P5. The only overtaking in the opening lap was done by Lewis Hamilton. The Brit blew past his rivals to move up the order. It was now Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo in the top 5. This was the running order until the first round of pit stops.
When Bottas was called in for his change of tires, Ferrari reacted and called in Kimi a lap later. The Finn came out ahead of his countryman, but this gave Vettel free air out in front, allowing the German to pound in serious lap times. When Ferrari finally decided to bring in the four-time champion, Ferrari mechanics turned around the #5 car to ensure that it came out ahead of Raikkonen. Job done: it was still a Ferrari 1-2, but the lead car was not what most fans wanted to see.
This confirmed to everyone that Ferrari has Sebastian Vettel as its number one driver, with Kimi playing second fiddle.
After the pit stops, the race was a procession. Everyone just trundled around the circuit. With the exception of the Jenson Button – Pascal Wherlein clash, which saw the Sauber flip onto its side at the Portier after coming into contact with the McLaren, the race results were already a foregone conclusion.
Sebastian Vettel took the checkered flag to win the Monaco GP, with Kimi stoically following his team mate ahead of eventual third place man, Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. During the podium ceremonies, the 2007 champ’s face didn’t show any emotion about the orchestrated result, but his body language told a different story. Raikkonen was not happy. It was his race. Kimi took pole, he didn’t do anything wrong, and he had the speed, but the powers that be still handed the victory to Vettel.
Sebastian Vettel now pads his championship lead over Lewis Hamilton in the race for the drivers title. The German now has a 25 point lead to the Mercedes driver (129 to 104), with Bottas retaining third place with 75 points and Kimi, not too far behind in fourth with 67 points.