Monaco GP: Raikkonen beats Vettel to pole, Hamilton out in Q2

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first Formula 1 pole position since the 2008 French Grand Prix in Monaco, prevailing in a thrilling three-way pole fight.

Monaco GP: Raikkonen beats Vettel to pole, Hamilton out in Q2
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70-H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 Hybrid
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-17
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Girl watches the action
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM10
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Raikkonen was 0.043s clear of teammate Sebastian Vettel and 0.045s clear of the lead Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas at the chequered flag, the Finn having recorded the new best-ever lap of Monaco with a 1m12.178s.

Reigning Monaco GP winner Lewis Hamilton was a shock Q2 elimination, struggling for grip throughout the second session and denied a late chance to improve by Stoffel Vandoorne's late crash. He is set to start the race 13th.

Raikkonen had taken control of Q3 from the start, leading by seven tenths at the halfway point with a lap of 1m12.296s.

He then took a tenth off that time, but couldn't make further gains with a final push lap, as both Vettel and Bottas put in their best laps.

However, the German came up 0.043s short at the chequered flag, with Bottas ending up 0.002s adrift of Vettel.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was three tenths off, demoting teammate Daniel Ricciardo to fifth at the last second, with Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz a close sixth.

Force India's Sergio Perez and Haas driver Romain Grosjean were seventh and eighth, the latter narrowly escaping a Q1 exit.

Jenson Button qualified ninth but is to start last due to a 15-place engine penalty, while Vandoorne had made up the order in Q3, nominally progressing to the final segment despite his Q2 shunt.

Q2: Vandoorne shunt eliminates Hamilton

Hamilton, who went into the weekend hoping to match his hero Ayrton Senna's career pole total, was in trouble straight away in Q2, as he narrowly saved a moment at Massenet.

He was only 14th after his first run, pitting at halfway as he reported a lack of grip.

But while he looked to improve on both of his subsequent push laps, he lost time on his first attempt to traffic and then had to back off in the final sector as Vandoorne had shunted at Swimming Pool.

The Belgian's crash inadvertently secured a first double Q3 for McLaren since Hungary last year and proved costly for several drivers besides Hamilton.

Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, who looked likely to improve, raged on the team radio as he ended up just missing out on a spot in the top 10 shoot-out, with the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen also eliminated.

Kvyat, Hulkenberg and Magnussen will move up to ninth, 10th and 11th on the grid, due to Vandoorne's three-place grid penalty for a Spain collision with Massa.

Massa himself, meanwhile, had progressed to Q2 on a tough weekend for Williams, but didn't record a representative laptime.

Q1: Ocon's sole run not enough

The first qualifying segment, in which Verstappen, Vettel and Raikkonen were split by 0.012s out front, saw three midfield cars consigned to an early exit.

Esteban Ocon, who had crashed his Force India in the closing minutes of FP3, could only return to the track halfway into the first qualifying segment, but was narrowly clear of the drop-zone at the chequered flag.

However, a late improvement from Grosjean, who had spun at Mirabeau during a fast lap earlier and was forced to reverse awkwardly, demoted his compatriot to what would end up being 15th on the grid.

The rest of those eliminated were well adrift, with Renault's Jolyon Palmer complaining of understeer and coming up well short of teammate Hulkenberg.

Williams driver Lance Stroll, who had crashed on Thursday, was out too, spending the final few minutes of the session in the pits.

The two Saubers, who were comfortably last throughout practice, made up the timing screens yet again. Pascal Wehrlein will start 18th, beating Ericsson by one tenth, with the Swede pulling over at the chequered flag after contact with the barrier damaged his suspension.

ClaDriverChassisEngineTimeGap
1 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 1'12.178  
2 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 1'12.221 0.043
3 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 1'12.223 0.045
4 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 1'12.496 0.318
5 australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 1'12.998 0.820
6 spain Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso Renault 1'13.162 0.984
7 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 1'13.329 1.151
8 france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 1'13.349 1.171
9 russia Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso Renault 1'13.516 1.338
10 germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 1'13.628 1.450
11 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 1'13.959 1.781
12 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Honda    
13 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 1'14.106 1.928
14 brazil Felipe Massa  Williams Mercedes 1'20.529 8.351
15 france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 1'14.101 1.923
16 united_kingdom Jolyon Palmer  Renault Renault 1'14.696 2.518
17 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 1'14.893 2.715
18 germany Pascal Wehrlein  Sauber Ferrari 1'15.159 2.981
19 sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 1'15.276 3.098
20 united_kingdom Jenson Button  McLaren Honda 1'13.613 1.435
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