I surprised myself! - Ferrari's Vettel revels in Monaco Grand Prix glory

Sebastian Vettel
Monaco GP Vettel emulates Schumacher extends lead over Hamilton
Author

10 June, 2017

But their triumph did not come without drama as Vettel - who now leads Lewis Hamilton by 25 points in the drivers' championship - leapfrogged pole-sitter Raikkonen in the pit-stop phase to lead the pack.

That he is making such cryptic comments just six races into the 20-race season may not bode well for Ferrari as it tries to end three straight years of total Mercedes domination. But the triple world champion admitted he can ill-afford another off-colour weekend if he is to halt Vettel's charge. Bottas, too, struggled with finding the window in Monte Carlo but again it did not affect his weekend as adversely, qualifying in third and finishing fourth. Finland's Valtteri Bottas also winning in Russian Federation for Mercedes.

When he was asked directly if he thought Ferrari's strategy had cost him victory, he added: "I haven't seen what happened, I only know what happened when I was in the auto but I haven't seen the bigger piucture".

"But the more races we do, the more we learn and the stronger we get".

It was Ferrari's first one-two finish since 2010 and chairman Sergio Marchionne was quick to hail "a race which will be part of our history... a really exciting race where we saw the real scuderia (team)". "We know that the Ferraris are not bulletproof, they've got things potentially coming up - all the [engine components] they've used or potentially used, so we'll see". "One more race like this and we will be much further behind".

Mercedes asked Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas to move aside to allow him to fight for victory in Bahrain earlier this year, and the Finn admitted that his "job" in the Spanish Grand Prix a fortnight ago was to hold up Vettel when his pit strategy put him ahead of the Ferrari on track.

"Obviously it's still second place but it doesn't feel awfully good".

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But the Briton insists he has no intentions on seeking the number one status at Mercedes for the remaining 14 races of the season.

In what turned out to be a hard weekend for Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas' fourth place finish was the best the reigning world champions could manage, as Hamilton recovered from 13th on the grid to cross the line seventh, following his early qualifying exit.

"But I think that doesn't deter the fact that we have a great auto".

"But we still believe we can win this thing".

'It's not a happy auto at the moment, ' admitted Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton admits his Mercedes team are no closer to understanding the reasons behind his lacklustre Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

"We are the underdog". It might be the other way."So yes, we are the underdog and we need to catch up".


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