Ferrari staged a front-row sweep in qualifying (Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Sebastian Vettel), locking down the top two spots on the Monaco grid for the first time since 2008. It was also Raikkonen’s first pole since 2008 and set a record for longest gap between P1 starts, 129 races. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) started third and Max Verstappen (Red Bull) fourth.
Hamilton started P13 after failing to make the final round of qualifying. He entered the race trailing Vettel by 6 points for first place in the driver championship.
Jenson Button started at the back of the grid in Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda, Alonso preparing to run in his first Indianapolis 500 later in the day. Alonso was patched through to Button’s radio pre-race and wished him luck. Button qualified in the Top 10 but was given a 15-spot grid penalty.
The running order remained in place through the opening lap. Raikkonen led by 2.138 sec 11 laps into the 78-lap race. Bottas pitted during Lap 34, reentering in front of Verstappen who had already stopped. Raikkonen came in from the lead the following lap, retaking the track ahead of Bottas.
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) pitted during Lap 38, leapfrogging Bottas for third. Vettel pitted the next lap and came out in front of his Ferrari teammate to take the lead. The safety car came out in Lap 60, Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber ending up on its side against the guardrail following contact with Button.
Verstappen stopped during the caution and took on fresh tires without losing his P5 position. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) crashed trying to make an authorized pass of the safety car. Green-flag racing resumed to start Lap 67. Vettel opened a 2.5-sec lead on Raikkonen with 10 laps remaining.
Vettel won, Ferrari’s first at Monaco in 16 years (Michael Schumacher). Kimi Raikkonen finished second, mirroring Ferrari’s 1-2 in 2001 (Rubens Barrichello). Daniel Ricciardo finished P3. Carlos Sainz’s (Toro Rosso) sixth place finish moved him to eighth in the driver championship. Lewis Hamilton had risen to P7 by race’s end.
Driver standings (Top 10)
Sebastian Vettel (Germany), Ferrari – 129
Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain), Mercedes – 104
Valtteri Bottas (Finland), Mercedes – 75
Kimi Raikkonen (Finland), Ferrari – 67
Daniel Ricciardo (Australia), Red Bull-Renault - 52
Max Verstappen (Netherlands), Red Bull-Renault – 45
Sergio Perez (Mexico), Force India-Mercedes – 34
Carlos Sainz (Spain), Toro Rosso-Renault – 25
Felipe Massa (Brazil), Williams-Mercedes – 20
Esteban Ocon (France), Force India-Mercedes – 19
Ferrari (Vettel, Raikkonen) – 196
Mercedes (Hamilton, Bottas) – 179
Red Bull Racing (Verstappen, Ricciardo) – 97
Force India-Mercedes (Perez, Ocon) - 53
Toro Rosso-Renault (Sainz Jr., Daniil Kvyat) – 29
Williams-Mercedes (Massa, Lance Stroll) – 20
Renault (Nico Hulkenberg, Jolyon Palmer) – 14
Haas-Ferrari (Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean) – 14
Sauber-Ferrari (Marcus Ericsson, Pascal Wehrlein) – 4
Next event: Grand Prix of Canada, Montreal – June 9-11, 2017