|Circuit||Circuit de Monaco|
|Distance||260,286 km / 161,769 miles|
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Today’s one-two is a great result for the entire team, on a track that highlights the qualities of the car and the person driving it. Both our drivers performed like champions. Starting from pole, Kimi led the race up until his pit stop, which took place on the planned lap. Seb stayed out for a few more laps to cover Ricciardo. Vettel’s times were exceptional on Ultrasofts that had done a lot of laps, which confirms the quality of the Pirelli product. As for Kimi, unfortunately he lost a bit too much time behind a backmarker. The most important aspect of today is that all the hard work carried out by the guys at the track was rewarded, as was the fact that our car was so well conceived back in Maranello. Now, it’s already time for us to think of the forthcoming Grand Prix in Canada.”
Mattia Binotto: “Today’s result was built on the front row we secured yesterday in qualifying. It shows that the SF70H was well suited to all the conditions we encountered over the weekend at a circuit that requires maximum aerodynamic downforce. But in fact, we can claim that, so far, our car has behaved very well on all types of track. Now we look ahead, one step at a time, aware of the importance of upcoming developments.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It’s an incredible day. In the laps before my pit-stop I was surprised by my own pace because earlier on Kimi and I were both struggling with the rear tires. Those laps I did today were comparatively better than the ones I did in qualifying yesterday. It was impossible for me to predict how fast I could go today. At one point I thought a second, maybe half a second, but then it turned out it was more than that, which was obviously crucial to grant me first place out of the box. It was fantastic to be in the lead and win the race. There was a lot of adrenaline during those laps but in general I could control the race. It sure helps to be the leading car, without any traffic, so that you get better into the rhythm. Once I had new tires, again I was able to control the position. We had the chance this weekend to finish first and second and that’s what the team did. It’s great to see what we were able to do. Today the team gained a lot of points. It’s been a while since Ferrari won here so it’s a great day. I really enjoyed driving for the team. It is great to work together, we try to push each other and the best thing is to see that the team keeps growing.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “To finish first and second is what we wanted, a very good result for the whole team. Obviously right now I’m not very happy, because second place is not what I was looking for, but that’s how it goes. When you have done most of the hard work and you finish second it’s not bad, but we expected a bit more. When I came out after the pit stop I got stuck behind lapped cars and that was not ideal, but this was out of my control. At the next track in Canada the layout is completely different from here: it’s hard to predict what will happen, but let’s see.”
Something we’ve been waiting for a long time has finally come to pass, a race which will be part of our history. Not only a victory, but a one-two finish at a Grand Prix with a tradition as glorious as Monaco, where Ferrari last won with another one-two, delivered on that occasion by Schumacher and Barrichello. Today it was a really exciting race where we saw the real Scuderia.
My compliments to the drivers and, once again, the whole team, both those at the track and the individuals that work so hard each and every day back in Maranello on a car that is finally giving our tifosi the satisfaction they deserve.
Seb and Kimi secure a Ferrari one-two
Montecarlo, 28 May – An historic win at an historic race: Sebastian Vettel took the victory ahead of Kimi Raikkonen as Ferrari triumphed in Monaco. This was the Scuderia’s 227th world championship win, the 44th of Seb’s career and his sixth with the Reds. Vettel now leads the championship on 129 points, while Kimi is fourth on 67. This was the 82nd one-two finish in the Scuderia’s history.
As always in Monaco, a few minutes before the start, the grid is jammed with people, their hearts also filled with all sorts of feelings of expectation, emotion, concerns – “check the rim, seems the driver brushed the barrier…” before it was time for the grid to form up with an all-Ferrari front row. So much is at stake in the few seconds it takes to get off the grid and run down to the braking zone at Ste. Devote. However, when you have both your cars on the front row, you in fact have the most normal of starts.
Kimi got away well from pole on the right side of the track, pulling Seb along behind him, who was fighting off the Mercedes. The two SF70Hs soon pulled out a bit of a lead over Bottas, Verstappen and Ricciardo. However, the hot conditions made it difficult to follow another car too closely as there was a risk of overheating. Seb was running around 1’14” behind Kimi at this point, but the Reds began to up the pace, lapping in the low 1m 17s.
The basic strategy was quite straightforward: just one tyre stop shortly before half distance, switching from the Ultra to the Supersoft: therefore it was best to try and build up a small lead right away. A sixth of the way through, there was just a little more than two seconds splitting the Ferraris, while Bottas was dropping back. Things livened up on lap 15 with Sebastian posting a fastest lap of 1’16”197.
Next time round, Hulkenberg’s Renault began smoking at the back in the run down to Mirabeau. The engineers started planning for a safety car scenario, but only yellow flags were required. In our garage, the calm tones of Diego Ioverno ran through the various scenarios and as Bottas had slowed less than the Ferraris under yellow, he was now 5 seconds off Seb, who in turn had closed on Kimi.
By lap 26, the backmarkers were already on the agenda and Kimi lost time getting by Button and Wehrlein who were scrapping between themselves. Seb also got past but Bottas had made up 4 seconds and therefore the two Ferrari men responded immediately. On lap 32 Verstappen’s Red Bull kicked off the run of pit stops and next time round it was Bottas’ turn. Immediately Ferrari moved to protect its position and, as planned, brought Kimi in first for his stop.
Seb thus found himself leading from Ricciardo who was pushing very hard, trading fastest sector times with Seb. Vettel’s best lap, a 1’15”587, gave a good idea of the Ferrari’s potential. Ricciardo pitted at half-distance and Seb continued to push in anticipation of his stop at the end of lap 39. Would that be enough to get him ahead of Kimi? Yes, the move worked.
In Monaco, it usually takes some major incident for things to change at the front. Seb continued to push, while Kimi held off Ricciardo. And then came that major incident: with just 18 laps to go, Wehrlein was hit by Button and his Sauber was tipped on its side against the barrier at Portier. The Safety Car came out and the gaps were wiped out, including the leader’s 12 seconds over Raikkonen. Seb asked about Pascal over the radio and was told he was okay. The Safety Car stayed out for a long time, coming in with 12 laps to go. The race was on again with the two Ferrari’s getting away well. Behind them there were some battles and Vandoorne went off at Ste. Devote. That was just about it in terms of excitement, with only the small matter of the best moment of all still to come as the cars took the chequered flag.
Kimi on pole as Ferrari secures front row lock-out in Monaco
Montecarlo, May 27 – It’s the most famous and challenging track on the calendar, the one which calls for maximum performance from both the car and the driver. Securing pole position here is more of a reward than anywhere else; locking out the front row is a synonym for sensational team work. At Monaco today, Scuderia Ferrari did it. The last one-two for the team on the grid in the Principality dates back to 2008. A perfect lap crowned Kimi’s performance through the weekend so far, giving him his 17th pole position in Formula One. Sebastian’s lap was only slightly less perfect, with a gap of just over 4 hundredths of a second to his team-mate at the finish line.
“It’s great to be on pole position” said Kimi, “this is one of the races where it is probably most important to be at the front. Half of the job is done, but we still have a big challenge in front of us tomorrow. So far so good, I’m happy with the car. This is a very special place, it’s been a bit tricky to get everything working as we wanted, but in qualifying things fell into place: and very small things make a massive difference in the lap time here . We got it right, the team put me in a very good position every time; things were running smoothly and hopefully tomorrow we can get a great result with both cars. We have to make a good start and try to stay out of trouble. It’s quite a short run to the first corner, cars are wide and it’s tricky to pass. We’ll try to do our best, but it’s not going to be easy, as many things can happen out of your control. The most important thing for me is to be in the same position tomorrow when it comes to the end”.
As for Sebastian, he’s not making any excuses for missing out on pole today: “I am not happy with myself because pole position was up for grabs, but it’s great for the team. If I had to give up pole position and hand it to someone, I would choose Kimi. I am happy for him. He did a very good job in qualifying. As I said, it’s been fantastic for the team, but I am not totally happy with my performance today. I should have done a better job overall. The car was good, so it was my mistake. I was a bit too greedy in my last run. Now it is impossible to make predictions for tomorrow, all we have to think about is the start, the pace, the strategy, and then try to put everything together. So, we are going to prepare for the race as usual”.
Kimi on pole, Seb 4 hundredths behind
Monaco, 27 May – Kimi Raikkonen took pole in today’s qualifying at the Monaco street circuit, with a time of 1:12.178, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was second, just 0.043 of a second slower. Tomorrow’s race will see the second all red front row of the season after the one in Russia.
Free practice concludes in Monaco
Monaco, 27 May – Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the third free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix with a time of 1:12.395. Now comes the final F1 track action of the day, with the grid-deciding qualifying session that gets underway at 14h00 local time. Second quickest was Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari, just .0345 seconds slower than his team-mate. The Ferrari men used the Soft and Ultrasoft tyres this morning.
Seb and Kimi: “The feeling is good, now it’s down to fine-tuning”
Monaco, May 25 – They say Friday lap times don’t count. In Monaco it’s different, as the first day of running is on Thursday, but the same principle applies. Still it was good for Seb and Kimi to end the first day with P1 and P3 respectively on the time sheet. “I was pretty happy with the afternoon session”, said Sebastian. “We had a small issue at the start of the session which needed some extra time to be looked at, but then we were on our way. It’s fun to drive these cars around Monaco because they’re faster than in the past. They’re also wider, and I kissed the barrier a couple of times this morning, but I could carry on with no damage. “Overall it has been a good day. It’s only Thursday, so we have to wait for Saturday to get a clear picture, but it is nice to have a good feeling with the car already. I was very happy with the first run in the morning and since then we didn’t have to change too much, but we improved the car in the afternoon. It feels good on a quick lap, the long runs are a bit harder to judge because of traffic. Now it’s about fine-tuning and we have time for that. Yet, we still have to do something more on the car to be more competitive. Meanwhile, we’ll have some commitments at the track tomorrow; it is more relaxed than usual because we have more time, but we are definitely not on holiday!” Kimi’s performance improved consistently as the day went on: “Today it was getting better and better and that’s the main thing. We made smooth progress; In the long runs the feeling with the car was good, while on the shorter ones we still have to improve a little bit. We made some changes and it got better all the times. We only need to work on small things to get a nicer feeling all the time and see once we push where we end up on Saturday. For sure it will be close between quite a few cars and so we obviously we need to do a good job”.
Seb first, Kimi third
Monaco, 25 May – Sebastian Vettel was fastest in Thursday’s second free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, with a time of 1:12.720. His Finnish Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was third with a lap in 1:13.283. Both Ferrari men used one set of Supersofts and one of Ultrasofts. As usual at this track, the focus on fast lap times took place towards the start of the session, while the final runs were dedicated to race simulation work.
Ferrari second and seventh
Monaco, 25 May – Formula 1 has touched down in the Principality of Monaco for the sixth round of the World Championship. Scuderia Ferrari ended the first free practice session with the second and seventh fastest times, courtesy of Sebastian Vettel (1:13.621) and Kimi Raikkonen (1:14.164.) Both Ferrari men used two sets of Ultrasofts with the German completing 34 laps and the Finn 37.
Seb and Kimi look ahead to the weekend: “We have a strong package”
Monaco, May 24 – The streets of the Principality are bustling as usual this time of year. The Monaco Grand Prix will most probably be blessed with nice weather and both Ferrari drivers are looking ahead to the challenge, without assuming anything about the final result, but being well aware of the progress made so far this season. “I think we’ve had a strong package so far”, says Seb. “But Mercedes is doing a very good job and they are still the ones we have to beat. We had a good start to the season, but we are not happy to be behind; we want to be ahead of course. We could have won more races, but we have a long season ahead of us. We have a strong car so that I am not that worried. I think we’ve got the points we deserve so far, but other people just did a better job in some races. However, we always try to do our best. Sometimes it feels easier, at other times harder, but if you can keep it together, then it is possible. I am happy with what we have but we still want to improve”. Kimi’s comments reflect the uniqueness of Monaco: “I enjoy the circuit here, I have had some good races and weekends. I wouldn’t really compare this place to any other track . It’s such a big challenge and there’s a lot of things that have to go right. When the car is working well and you have a good feeling, then it’s nice to drive here: but things can go bad quickly and then your weekend becomes very long… We have to put laps in, get a good feeling with the car and try to make it work the way we want. Hopefully our car will behave the same as it has done at other circuits we have been to this year”.
No other circuit can match it for history, character and its mental challenge
Monaco, 23 May – For some, it’s the most glamorous Grand Prix of the season, while for others, it’s a logistical nightmare, or maybe both all rolled into one. In fact, Monaco is a race that follows in the wake of quirks and peculiarities. It is the shortest track on the calendar, at just 3.340 kilometres in length and it’s the only race that comes in under 300 kilometres, because of the low average speed. But it is also the longest weekend, because free practice gets underway on Thursday, with the timetable built around the Ascension Day holiday. Furthermore, Monaco, along with Monza and Spa, is one of the tracks still on the calendar whose history pre-dates Formula 1. In fact, the first Monegasque Grand Prix dates back to 1929. Since then, the layout has changed little, even if the arrival of a new pits structure in 2004 was something of a revolution.
There is also nothing quite like Monaco on the technical front. The track surface is that of a public road – in fact, in the evening the track is opened up to normal traffic again – therefore it offers very low grip levels, so that the Pirelli Ultrasoft is pretty much a necessity for qualifying and a good part of the race too. Set-up is unique, because the bumpy nature of the track requires a relatively high ride-height and the tight corners mean the car’s turning circle has to be reduced. The engine is not so important here, with high levels of energy recovery, however, aerodynamic downforce really counts. Up until a few years ago, one would see all sorts of aero appendages sprouting from the bodywork: today the regulations have ruled out most of these fanciful designs, however the lap times should be worth watching, given the amount of downforce the 2017 F1 cars can generate.
It will be a busy week for Scuderia Ferrari and its drivers. The logistical planning is well underway and during the week, as well as the practice sessions and technical briefings, there will be plenty of promotional events to attend. The fight for pole on Saturday afternoon, will definitely be more closely contested and significant than at many other circuits. However, even if Sunday’s race offers few opportunities for overtaking, experience teaches one never to take anything for granted. In a race in which the driver does not have to exert himself too much physically, the need for mental concentration is higher here than anywhere else.