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.

Betting on Motorsports? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more

Related news

Lewis Hamilton romps to Silverstone win, Sebastian Vettel seventh

Lewis Hamilton romps to Silverstone win, Sebastian Vettel seventh

Lewis Hamilton turned in a dominant performance to win a record-equalling fifth British Grand Prix on Sunday and cut Sebastian Vettel's championship lead to one point.

Controversy as Lewis Hamilton keeps pole after blocking row

Controversy as Lewis Hamilton keeps pole after blocking row

Lewis Hamilton has kept his pole position for the British Grand Prix after being cleared of blocking Sebastien Grosjean by an FIA stewards' investigation.

Lewis Hamilton fastest in rain-hit final free practice

Lewis Hamilton fastest in rain-hit final free practice

Lewis Hamilton boosted his prospects of pole position at the British Grand Prix when he was fastest in final free practice at Silverstone on Saturday morning.

Bottas edges Hamilton in second practice at British Grand Prix

Bottas edges Hamilton in second practice at British Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas stayed on top in second practice for Formula 1's British Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by only 0.047 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in British GP practice

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in British GP practice

Formula One champions Mercedes made a statement of intent in British Grand Prix practice on Friday with Valtteri Bottas leading home favourite Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets as Ferrari were left far behind.

Bottas holds off Vettel to win in Austria

Bottas holds off Vettel to win in Austria

Valtteri Bottas held off a late charge from Sebastian Vettel to win the Austrian Grand Prix by just 0.6s, while Daniel Ricciardo pipped Lewis Hamilton to the final spot on the podium in third.

Valtteri Bottas beats Sebastian Vettel to Austria pole

Valtteri Bottas beats Sebastian Vettel to Austria pole

Valtteri Bottas edged Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pole position by just 0.042s in Austria, while Lewis Hamilton will start from eighth on the grid when his gearbox change grid penalty is applied after qualifying third.

Vettel tops final practice as Hamilton suffers brake issue

Vettel tops final practice as Hamilton suffers brake issue

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice for the Austrian Grand Prix as title rival Lewis Hamilton encountered more problems with his Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton fastest despite encountering issues

Lewis Hamilton fastest despite encountering issues

Lewis Hamilton topped both Friday practice sessions at the Austrian Grand Prix, setting a new lap record in the morning before improving again by nearly 0.5s in the afternoon.

RELATED NEWS

Lewis Hamilton romps to Silverstone win, Sebastian Vettel seventh
British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton romps to Silverstone win, Sebastian Vettel seventh

Lewis Hamilton turned in a dominant performance to win a record-equalling fifth British Grand Prix on Sunday and cut Sebastian Vettel's championship lead to one point.

Controversy as Lewis Hamilton keeps pole after blocking row
British Grand Prix - Qualifying

Controversy as Lewis Hamilton keeps pole after blocking row

Lewis Hamilton has kept his pole position for the British Grand Prix after being cleared of blocking Sebastien Grosjean by an FIA stewards' investigation.

Lewis Hamilton fastest in rain-hit final free practice
British Grand Prix - FP3

Lewis Hamilton fastest in rain-hit final free practice

Lewis Hamilton boosted his prospects of pole position at the British Grand Prix when he was fastest in final free practice at Silverstone on Saturday morning.

Bottas edges Hamilton in second practice at British Grand Prix
British Grand Prix - FP2

Bottas edges Hamilton in second practice at British Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas stayed on top in second practice for Formula 1's British Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by only 0.047 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in British GP practice
British Grand Prix - FP1

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes one-two in British GP practice

Formula One champions Mercedes made a statement of intent in British Grand Prix practice on Friday with Valtteri Bottas leading home favourite Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets as Ferrari were left far behind.

Bottas holds off Vettel to win in Austria
Austrian Grand Prix

Bottas holds off Vettel to win in Austria

Valtteri Bottas held off a late charge from Sebastian Vettel to win the Austrian Grand Prix by just 0.6s, while Daniel Ricciardo pipped Lewis Hamilton to the final spot on the podium in third.

Valtteri Bottas beats Sebastian Vettel to Austria pole
Austrian Grand Prix - Qulifying

Valtteri Bottas beats Sebastian Vettel to Austria pole

Valtteri Bottas edged Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pole position by just 0.042s in Austria, while Lewis Hamilton will start from eighth on the grid when his gearbox change grid penalty is applied after qualifying third.

Vettel tops final practice as Hamilton suffers brake issue
Austrian Grand Prix - FP3

Vettel tops final practice as Hamilton suffers brake issue

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice for the Austrian Grand Prix as title rival Lewis Hamilton encountered more problems with his Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton fastest despite encountering issues
Austrian Grand Prix - FP2

Lewis Hamilton fastest despite encountering issues

Lewis Hamilton topped both Friday practice sessions at the Austrian Grand Prix, setting a new lap record in the morning before improving again by nearly 0.5s in the afternoon.