The heat was on in Monaco on race day, as the Principality turned on the weather for the most glamorous event on the 20-stop Formula 1 calendar – the race’s history dating back pre-war to 1929.
And this year there was an historic result to match: with Sebastian Vettel taking Ferrari’s first win in Monte Carlo for 16 years – the last taken by his childhood hero, Michael Schumacher in 2001.
It was also the first 1-2 finish for the Prancing Horse since Germany 2010, but the paddock was divided post-race on which Ferrari should have won.
Kimi Räikkönen, on pole position for the first time since France 2008, got away well at the start – Vettel slotting in behind, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas having to settle for third, ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who touched wheels at the exit of Ste. Devote.
Räikkönen traded fastest laps with Vettel up-front, pulling out a 2-second gap by lap 10 – but the German was within DRS range by Lap 33.
Räikkönen stopped on the next lap for supersofts, to cover off any chance of third-placed Bottas splitting the pair – unleashing Vettel, who upped his pace with the fastest lap ahead of his stop at the end of Lap 39.
The switch was sealed in the pits; Vettel’s stop 3-tenths of a second faster than his teammate’s. But, with the German needing maximum points in his fight against Hamilton - the lead change looked like a team order.
Behind the Ferraris, Verstappen pitted on Lap 32 at an attempt to undercut Bottas – but Mercedes thwarted that on the next lap, handing Ricciardo the clean air to jump both of them to take third.
Lewis Hamilton was last to stop on Lap 46 - moving up from 13th to sixth – before dropping back to seventh after exiting the pits.
On Lap 60, McLaren’s Jenson Button tagged Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein at Portier – dramatically flipping him onto his side and straight into the barrier, bringing out the safety car for seven laps.
But in the end it was Vettel’s day, with Räikkönen a frustrated second.
“For me, I take it, there’s no reason to lie, obviously I’m very happy but I can understand that he’s upset,” said Vettel.
As broadcast on 30/05/2017.