Locking out the front row of the Monaco Grand Prix was Scuderia Ferrari. Kimi Räikkönen set the all-time fastest lap at Monaco with a pole-winning time of 1:12.178 that was .043 of a second better than his teammate, Sebastian Vettel. It is Räikkönen’s 17th career Formula One pole but his first since the 2008 French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours, a span of 128 races. It is Ferrari’s first front-row lockout at Monaco since 2008 when Felipe Massa earned the pole with Räikkönen in second.
Raikkonen was only five-hundredths clear of Vettel, with Bottas only two-thousandths further back. The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo came in fourth and fifth respectively.
Lewis Hamilton, however, endured a torrid and unsuccessful session, going out in Q2 to finish in 14th place. It is the first time that Hamilton, who struggled to find grip and balance for his car, has failed to make it to the final stage of qualifying on pace alone since the Italian Grand Prix in 2013
Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnusson qualified eighth and 13th, however, will start 11th due to grid penalties incurred by the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Stoffel Vandoorne. Button qualified ninth but will serve a 15-place grid penalty while Vandoorne qualified 10th but has a three-place grid penalty
Jenson Button, replacing Fernando Alonso in the McLaren while the Spaniard races in the Indy 500, had been optimistic of making it into the points but will face a trying afternoon on Sunday. He qualified well in ninth place but will take a 15-place grid penalty, putting him to the back of the grid. Honda’s struggle for reliability continued after the team had to replace the MGU-H and turbocharger on Saturday morning, exceeding the four-a-year limit on the components.
Before Grosjean, Magnussen and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. For the Haas team both drivers were on the same program during the 60-minute session, with one installation lap on Yellow soft tires before switching over to new sets of Purple ultrasofts to emulate qualifying.
Magnussen set the ninth-fastest time with a 1:13.596 on the 16th of his 21 laps. Grosjean tallied 23 laps and earned his best time on his 12th tour – a 1:14.547 that put him 16th overall.
Quickest in FP3 was Vettel, whose fast lap of 1:12.395 was .345 of a second better than his nearest pursuer, Räikkönen.