Looks like Ferrari favouring Sebastian Vettel ahead of Kimi Raikkonen this season

Jun 05, 2017, 08:00

Had Sebastian Vettel set off from pole and not Kimi Raikkonen you could put your palazzo on that "misfortune" not happening.

Vettel increased his championship lead over Hamilton to 25 points - the equivalent of one race victory - with a third win of the season in Monaco after controversially jumping Raikkonen through the sole pit stops.

And Raikkonen, a distant fourth in the championship, cut a disconsolate figure during the podium celebrations.

"From the team point of view, there was no plan of any team orders or anything and as I said, I can understand that obviously Kimi's not happy, I would feel exactly the same, 100 percent the same".

Raikkonen had led the first 34 laps of the race until pitting, and when Vettel stopped five laps later, he emerged in front of his teammate.

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His 45th career win was the German's third in six races but there was plenty of sympathy for Raikkonen, who last won with Lotus in 2013. A harsh score, perhaps, bearing in mind he finished seventh having worked his way up the pack after that terrible qualifying, but seventh place and its ensuing points is no good for the Brit when the championship leader is enjoying comfortable wins. "But that's how it goes sometimes".

Lewis Hamilton will sit down with his Mercedes team in the coming days as he attempts to get on top of the vehicle problems which are threatening to derail his challenge for a fourth title.

It was all Vettel needed to put his foot down on a clear track, and when he pitted several laps later he came out with the lead of the Grand Prix and never relinquished it.

Vettel said, "It was a very tense race".

"I was devastated after qualifying but to come away with some points is better than nothing".

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"I got the bad end of the story today", Raikkonen said.

Jenson Button, back in Formula One as a one-off replacement for Fernando Alonso, was involved in a hair-raising accident after he flipped Pascal Wehrlein's Sauber following an adventurous overtake in the closing stages of the race.

Wehrlein's vehicle was flipped on its side against the tire wall and fence, with the German driver trapped inside and marshals unable to do anything about it, after Button went down the inside in what looked like a wildly optimistic attempt to pass. "Those points might be valuable at the end - it was damage limitation".

Verstappen finished fifth, behind Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes, with Carlos Sainz sixth for Toro Rosso. Romain Grosjean (Haas) +18.150s 9.

On a circuit noted for the extreme difficulty it presents for overtaking, Hamilton was lucky simply to scrape into a points-paying result.

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Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was the first to retire, pulling over at the tunnel entrance with smoke coming out of the rear of his Renault on lap 16.

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