“It’s clear to me that Ferrari have chosen their number one driver”, he told reporters, shortly after finishing seventh, allowing Vettel to stretch his title lead to 25 points and also Mercedes teammate to close to within 29.
“Ferrari seems to work everywhere, so these next 14 races will be very very hard”, he said. ‘It’s the most unusual the vehicle has felt in all the years I’ve been with the team.
Vettel put down his third win this season and along with three second places, he holds the first position in the driver’s standings.
Raikkonen kept his lead at the start and the two raced ahead of the pack with Raikkonen pitting first on lap 34, which didn’t seem entirely logical, and he came out behind slower cars.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Red Bull behind the two Ferraris, pushing Finn Valtteri Bottas down to fourth in his Mercedes.
Verstappen’s response on the team radio was succinct.
Sebastian Vettel ended Ferrari’s 16-year wait for a Monaco Grand Prix victory and extended his championship lead in the process with a commanding drive. This was his 45th win in career and his 92nd podium in 185 races.
“I think it’s really important now that we collectively work as a team more than ever before, as we have been”.
“Today, as a team, we wanted a one-two”.
“You don’t often start fifth and get a podium here”.
Kimi Raikkonen, the Finnish team mate who had led from pole for almost half the race, stared straight ahead and set about glugging the champagne as soon as he could. Speculation was rife after the race about the Italian team’s strategists planning the entire routine, which saw Vettel over-take Raikkonen during the pit stops.
The best seats in the house: The rich and famous watch Kimi Raikkonen from the water in Monte Carlo.
Vettel said he was surprised to come out ahead after his pit stop, which came five laps after his teammate’s, during which he put in some scorching times on his older ultrasofts while Kimi was on new supersofts. “It is one of those days”. He had set a lap quick enough to make the final session before binning the vehicle, but then could not set a lap in the decisive third part of qualifying.
The retirements were the following: Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button, Pascal Wehrlein, Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat, Stoffel Vandoorne and Marcus Ericsson. “I can understand why he’s upset”, Vettel said.
It was the second race weekend of the season where Hamilton has struggled with his car’s handling and he recognised something had to change. A shock early exit from qualifying left Hamilton just 13th on the grid in Monaco, but he managed to make up six positions to claim six points in what turned out to be a case of damage limitation.