June 28, 2017

Was Raikkonen sacrificed for Vettel?

02 June 2017, 02:31 | Kristin Schwartz

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Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel says that scoring Ferrari's first Monaco GP win since Michael Schumacher's 2001 success was "special" - but the German was also keen to point out that he was not favored over Kimi Raikkonen by team orders.

Sebastian Vettel beat Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to victory and extended his lead over Hamilton to 25 points in the Formula 1 world championship. But Ferrari's resurgence this season, and Hamilton's vehicle troubles, makes a sixth victory far from a foregone conclusion.

But Vettel said that circumstances had prevailed in his favour, and were not manufactured with the aim of boosting his title chances against Lewis Hamilton.

"As we get on top of that ultrasoft then it puts us in a much better position to attack", he said.

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo snagged a spot on the podium after a rough start to the weekend, while Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton climbed to finish seventh after a series of his own qualifying woes.

"It's clear to me that Ferrari have chosen their number one driver", Hamilton told reporters. "We've got a real fight on our hands". "It is about bringing the tyres into the right window; we have a fast vehicle but she doesn't like the tyres and that is something we need to understand".

But the team is struggling to find answers.

NEXT UP The drivers have a week off before heading to Montreal, where they will have more room for manoeuvre at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the Canadian Grand Prix.

Only Ferrari's senior management and the drivers will know if the team did look for a way to move Vettel ahead of Raikkonen at a track where overtaking is nigh on impossible, with only one clean pass all day yesterday backing that up.

Sebastian Vettel registered his third win from six races this season and with Kimi Raikkonen finishing runner-up the Italian team celebrated their first one-two since 2010.

"I like the notion of underdog because the underdog is the one that people want to see win", Hamilton's Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.

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

Though he took a well-deserved second, post-race the Finn's demeanour made it clear he was none too happy. The former Mercedes driver replied that he knew how that felt. It was an embarrassment for a auto of such standing. "Congratulations from our side - we need to give them credit".

"Of course I can't afford another weekend like this, at the going rate with the Ferraris quick", he admitted "But because you can't afford something doesn't mean it is not going to happen". Vettel would have received seven fewer points if he had finished Sunday's race at No. 2.

Ferrari did not even win a race previous year, but the Italian manufacturer has turned the tables on Mercedes.

In 2015, Ferrari was 275 points behind Mercedes and 2014 was so dismal for the Italian manufacturer that it finished fourth and almost 500 behind Mercedes.

"We've definitely got to improve in understanding the auto". We need to catch up. "This is the reality of it at the moment".

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