Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen raced to his first pole in nine years when he set the pace in the qualifying race of Formula One Monaco Grand Prix with a timing of 1:12.178s on Saturday.
The Finnish legend will start Sunday's race from the front row of the grid along with his teammate Sebastian Vettel, who kept the pressure on Raikkonen with a 1:12.221s finish. Mercedes suffered a big blow when 2016 winner Lewis Hamilton, who also won the Spanish GP earlier this month, finished with only the 14th best time after not being able to get any grip on his tyres.
Hamilton, who was looking to overtake F1 legend Ayrton Senna's record of 65 pole positions, struggled in Q2 and was looking to take control in the final qualifying session. However, his hopes were crashed McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne crashed. Mercedes' hopes of finishing with points were kept alive by Russia GP winner Valtteri Bottas as the new recruit finished just 0.045s slower than Raikkonen.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who came up with the fastest timing of 1:13.078s in Q1, will start alongside Bottas from the second row. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull and Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso will occupy the third row of the grid, while Force India's Sergio Perez finished seventh, a place above Haas Ferrari's Romain Grosjean.
Jenson Button finished an impressive ninth but he will start from the rear grid after being slapped with penalty for engine change. Notably, the 37-year-old has replaced Fernando Alonso, who chose to skip Sunday's race to compete at Indy 500.
Hamilton, despite finishing with the 14th best time, will start the race from the 12th position. However, his chances of cutting the six-point deficit over F1 driver standings leader Vettel in Monaco looks bleak.
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