Kimi Raikkonen pips Sebastian Vettel to Monaco pole
Monaco Grand Prix - Qualifying

Kimi Raikkonen pips Sebastian Vettel to Monaco pole

Kimi Raikkonen took his first pole position in nine years after hooking up a sensational lap of the streets of Monte-Carlo during qualifying for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

In a dramatic session that saw Lewis Hamilton fail to make the top-ten shootout and the top three cars split by just 0.045s, it was Raikkonen who came out on top for the first time since the 2008 French Grand Prix. None of the top drivers could claim to hook up the perfect lap, but Raikkonen's was as close as anyone with a 1:12.178 -- the fastest ever around the Monaco Grand Prix circuit.

He was just 0.043s quicker than teammate Sebastian Vettel in second, who in turn held a slender margin of 0.002s over Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas. The Ferrari looked like a much easier car to drive around Monaco's tight city streets than the Mercedes, and Hamilton's struggle means he faces an almighty challenge from 13th on tomorrow's grid.

Right from the start of Q1 the three-time champion had looked uncomfortable behind the wheel, but it was in Q2 when he started to look really ragged. On his first run in the second part of qualifying he just about caught a slide through Massenet, which could have ended his session there and then if his lightning-fast reflexes had not kicked in. After failing to up his pace on the following three laps, he dived into to pits for a new set of tyres, only to lose another minute of his session at the FIA weigh bridge.

When he finally rejoined, he took a warm-up lap before another attempt at a flier went awry when his Mercedes snapped sideways on the exit of Casino Square. By that time there was only enough time for one more lap and Hamilton cleared a gap to Stoffel Vandoorne in front in the hope of getting a clear run. Although the first two sectors were quick enough to make Q3, but as he entered the final sector of the lap he was met with yellow flags and Vandoorne's McLaren in the barriers. Hamilton was forced to bail over the inside of the chicane and abort his lap, and with that his qualifying was over -- leaving him 14th fastest in Q2 and 13th on the grid once Jenson Button's grid penalty is factored in.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fourth fastest with a lap 0.5s faster than teammate Daniel Ricciardo in fifth. Carlos Sainz impressed with the sixth fastest time in the Toro Rosso, holding off Sergio Perez in the Force India and Romain Grosjean in the Haas, who both completed impressive laps in their respective machinery. The McLarens of Jenson Button and Vandoorne were ninth and tenth, but both drivers face penalties, dropping Button to last on the grid and Vandoorne to 12th. As a result, Daniil Kvyat will move up to ninth, Nico Hulkenberg tenth and Kevin Magnussen 11th. Felipe Massa will start 14th behind Hamilton's Mercedes.

After his mechanics worked throughout lunch to repair his car following an accident in final practice, Esteban Ocon failed to make the cut for Q2 in the Force India. He had looked close to Perez's pace earlier in the weekend, but his FP3 accident appeared to knock his confidence and he set a time 0.5s off his teammate when it mattered in Q1. Jolyon Palmer's disappointing weekend continued as he finished 17th in Q1, 0.9s off Renault teammate Nico Hulkenberg and 0.2s ahead of Williams rookie Lance Stroll in 18th. The two Saubers were 19th and 20th after Marcus Ericsson clipped the barrier on the first apex of the Nouvelle Chicane, ripping his left-rear tyre from its wheel rim and bringing out yellow flags just as teammate Pascal Wehrlein approached on his final hot lap.

Related news

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi

Valtteri Bottas withstood race-long pressure from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to end the season with a victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole

Valtteri Bottas secured pole position ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton at the final race of the season as the Mercedes drivers locked out the front row of the grid in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton stays on top to lead Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi final practice

Lewis Hamilton stays on top to lead Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi final practice

Lewis Hamilton topped the final practice session ahead of qualifying for Formula One's season finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2

Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2

Lewis Hamilton swapped places with Sebastian Vettel at the top of the order as Mercedes and Ferrari remained close during Friday evening practice at Yas Marina.

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set the pace in opening practice for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday with Lewis Hamilton second fastest for Formula One champions Mercedes.

Neuville wins as Latvala throws away second

Neuville wins as Latvala throws away second

Thierry Neuville won the final round of the 2017 World Rally Championship as his closest challenger, Jari-Matti Latvala, crashed out of second place on Rally Australia's Power Stage.

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to win in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to win in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel claimed his fifth win of the season after beating Valtteri Bottas to victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Marquez takes fourth MotoGP title in five years

Marquez takes fourth MotoGP title in five years

Honda's Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP world championship in five years on Sunday after his only rival Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of the season-ending race in Valencia.

Bottas takes pole after Hamilton crashes out

Bottas takes pole after Hamilton crashes out

Valtteri Bottas beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pole position with a last-gasp effort in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, after newly-crowned Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out in the first session.

RELATED NEWS

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Bottas beats Hamilton to victory in Abu Dhabi

Valtteri Bottas withstood race-long pressure from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to end the season with a victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole

Valtteri Bottas secured pole position ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton at the final race of the season as the Mercedes drivers locked out the front row of the grid in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton stays on top to lead Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi final practice
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP3

Lewis Hamilton stays on top to lead Mercedes one-two in Abu Dhabi final practice

Lewis Hamilton topped the final practice session ahead of qualifying for Formula One's season finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2

Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP2

Lewis Hamilton swapped places with Sebastian Vettel at the top of the order as Mercedes and Ferrari remained close during Friday evening practice at Yas Marina.

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP1

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set the pace in opening practice for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday with Lewis Hamilton second fastest for Formula One champions Mercedes.

Neuville wins as Latvala throws away second
WRC Rally Australia

Neuville wins as Latvala throws away second

Thierry Neuville won the final round of the 2017 World Rally Championship as his closest challenger, Jari-Matti Latvala, crashed out of second place on Rally Australia's Power Stage.

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to win in Brazil
Brazil Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel beats Valtteri Bottas to win in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel claimed his fifth win of the season after beating Valtteri Bottas to victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Marquez takes fourth MotoGP title in five years
Valencia Grand Prix

Marquez takes fourth MotoGP title in five years

Honda's Marc Marquez won his fourth MotoGP world championship in five years on Sunday after his only rival Andrea Dovizioso crashed out of the season-ending race in Valencia.

Bottas takes pole after Hamilton crashes out
Brazil Grand Prix - Qualifying

Bottas takes pole after Hamilton crashes out

Valtteri Bottas beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pole position with a last-gasp effort in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, after newly-crowned Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out in the first session.