Lewis Hamilton 14th as Kimi Raikkonen takes Monaco GP pole

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Monte Carlo
Monaco GP qualifying results: 1st: Kimi Raikkonen 2nd: Sebastian Vettel 3rd: Valtteri Bottas
Coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix is on BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website and app

Kimi Raikkonen is on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton took 14th at Formula 1's biggest race.

The 37-year-old Finn is at the front of the grid for the first time in nine years - his last pole was the 2008 French Grand Prix.

Raikkonen edged out team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.043 seconds, with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas 0.002secs further back.

Jenson Button will start from the back after qualifying ninth on his return to F1 because of a grid penalty.

Sunday's race is live on the BBC Sport website and radio 5 live at 13:00 BST.

The Ice Man couldn't hide his joy at his first pole in nine years

What happened to Hamilton?

The Briton was struggling with a lack of grip, had to abort two laps after almost crashing, and then came across another crashed car on his final lap.

The Mercedes driver had been struggling since second practice on Thursday afternoon and, despite set-up changes for Saturday morning, he was still struggling going into qualifying.

He was 10th in the first session, 0.3secs off Bottas, but the second session began unravelling from the start.

Vettel has won 2 races in 2017 and hamilton 2
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On his first lap, a flick of oversteer at the fast Massenet corner at the top of the hills looked set to trigger a heavy crash, but Hamilton just kept the car out of the barriers, taking his hand off the wheel and shaking it afterwards as a reaction to how close he had come to an accident.

He complained to engineer Peter Bonnington: "I've got no grip, Bono. I've got to come in. Something is just not right with the car."

When he went out again, things were no better. This time it was Casino that nearly caught him out, the car flicking into oversteer over the crest at the famous corner, Hamilton again just rescuing it from the barriers.

That left him with one last lap to try to get into the top 10 shoot-out, but as he was on it, Stoffel Vandoorne crashed his McLaren at the Swimming Pool, bringing out the yellow flags and meaning Hamilton could not improve.

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Ferrari's conundrum

As Ferrari's main title contender, Vettel will start a strong favourite for victory on Sunday, but Bottas is in the same place on the grid as he was when he won in Russia a month ago.

Ferrari have never said that Vettel has number one status but it is widely believed within the paddock that he does.

Ferrari therefore face a conundrum - do they let the two drivers race and potentially have Raikkonen win, or engineer a situation that enables Vettel to take the flag and maximise his points gain against Hamilton, who is six points behind heading into the race?

Ferrari haven't won at Monaco since 2001, when Michael Schumacher triumphed

Strategy is expected to be flexible, with the ultra-soft tyre durable enough to last the race but the teams forced by the regulations to make at least one pit stop to switch to the super-soft.

Raikkonen said: "We know what we are doing. We are racing for the team. We have certain rules. We are allowed to fight but we cannot take each other off.

"People expect it to be something different from the last two years. Nothing has changed. People just try to make a stupid story out of nothing."

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Button's joy and despair

Jenson Button qualified ninth on his return to Formula 1 as a substitute for Fernando Alonso while the Spaniard races at the Indianapolis 500 this weekend.

Button ended up a place ahead of McLaren team-mate Vandoorne, who was quicker than Button by 0.2secs and seventh in second qualifying only to crash at the end of the session.

But Button will start at the back of the grid because of a 15-place grid penalty for using too many engine parts.

Jenson Button
Button lived in Monaco for 17 years during his F1 career

Red Bull revival?

The Red Bulls had looked as if they might challenge at the front but dropped away as qualifying progressed and Max Verstappen had to be content with fourth, 0.3secs off pole and half a second ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz was an excellent fifth, ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez, Haas' Romain Grosjean and Button and Vandoorne.

Jolyon Palmer had a difficult time struggling with understeer in the Renault and qualified 17th, nearly a second off team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in the first session as whispers grow that the Englishman's seat is under threat.

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What they said

Raikkonen: "It's the best place to start. It doesn't guarantee anything but I will take it. I was very happy with the car. I was able to push and it's good for the team to have two cars on the front row."

Vettel made it clear he felt pole should have been within his grasp, saying he had pushed too hard on his first lap and later "got a bit too greedy" in the second sector.

"It's about putting the lap together, and I struggled a bit more than him, but in the end he is faster."

Bottas, who finished third in qualifying: "It was a really good lap and a really good feeling when you get one here.

"It is one of the most mentally demanding circuits and I've really appreciated all the support from the fans."

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