Hamilton too "devastated" to get out of auto after qualifying

Raikkonen initially led from the front on Sunday, after claiming his first pole for nine years and 129 races the day before.

Sebastian Vettel won the Monaco Grand Prix from teammate Kimi Raikkonen to extend his lead over Lewis Hamilton at the top of the drivers championship.

Having closed the gap to dominant Mercedes in an incredibly close-fought Formula One season, Ferrari has another burning ambition: Winning the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.

While a late safety vehicle threatened to scupper Vettel's hopes of a second Monaco victory and give Raikkonen a chance to get ahead again, the four-time world champion kept cool amid searing heat in the principality to clinch the win. Not all was lost for Mercedes, though, as Valtteri Bottas was able to come in third and snag a seat at the second row of the grid.

Elsewhere, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth for Red Bull with Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz an impressive sixth.

"It doesn't guarantee anything for tomorrow".

"I don't know what was wrong there", said Vettel of Mercedes' problems. It is very hard for the leading auto on track to get jumped by the second vehicle unless the team decide to favour the other vehicle.

"But I felt I was able to get more confident in qualifying and extract more and the last lap was mega - the best I have ever done around here". It seems Bottas, who had the same setup, was better at that tyre preparation than Hamilton. In the meantime, Raikkonen and Vettel were just exchanging fastest lap times as Ferrari continued to edge away.

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"We [Ferrari] have two cars on the front to try and make the most of it".

Even more so for Hamilton, whose chances of a third win at Monaco and 56th overall now look extremely remote.

And Wolff has acknowledged that the catalyst for Hamilton's newly-rediscovered contentment within the Mercedes camp was Rosberg's retirement from F1 just days after the German clinched the 2016 drivers' title crown in controversial fashion at the season-concluding Abu Dhabi GP.

It was a torrid weekend for Hamilton throughout as he finished almost a second slower than the Ferrari duo in Practice Three where he struggled for grip.

"It's disappointing for me, because obviously it's not so easy for me to back him up, and score those points for the team, and I feel that for the team. For Lewis it will be important to see whether we are competitive or not, but at the moment there is such a solid basis that I can imagine it going on forever".

The other factor to consider is the safety vehicle.

"This weekend has been a bit tricky for us", Bottas said.

The Mercedes driver struggled to get his tyres working throughout qualifying, eventually losing out when Stoffel Vandoorne crashed and brought out yellow flags in the closing minutes of Q2, forcing him to abort his final lap.

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  • Lawrence Cooper