Monaco Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen robbed of victory as Mercedes off-day hits Lewis Hamilton hard

Raikkonen robbed of victory

There was virtually no chance of Sebastian Vettel making it safely past Kimi Raikkonen on the track while the Ferrari pair were racing at the front of the Monaco Grand Prix, so the only way that the championship leader was going to win the race was if the team interfered.

Hey presto, Ferrari lived up to their reputation of being race spoilers. Like Rubens Barichello and Felipe Massa before him, Raikkonen joined the Ferrari second drivers club as he saw his own hopes of victory sacrificed in order to push the world championship efforts of the No 1.

Once Vettel had clean air in front of him he quickly proved that he was able to run the faster lap times, but the controversial decision came in pitting Raikkonen first when the overcut – not the undercut – had already been mentioned in the lead up to the Grand Prix. Once Raikkonen pitted and took a lap or two to heat up his tyres, Vettel was able to put the hammer down and take the lead, with Raikkonen quickly giving up the ghost and settling for second.

Mercedes off-day hits them hard

If a team is going to have an off day, then it’s wise not to have it at Monaco. With Lewis Hamilton starting the race in 12th position, the best he could hope for was a points finish given he would find overtaking extremely difficult on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo.

That he was able to make it to the finish in seventh was credit to a smart strategy and putting in the lap times when needed, but there was still nothing the Mercedes could do on the track as he spent the final stint of the race stuck behind Carlos Sainz, with a safety car period not even helping his cause.

The result is that while Hamilton may have been able to salvage a top four finish at other, wider tracks, he lost a large chunk of points to championship rival Vettel and heads to Canada a full race-winning haul of 25 points behind.

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