Vettel emulates Schumacher as Ferrari end Monaco jinx

Formula One - F1 - Monaco Grand Prix 2017 - Circuit de Monaco

MONACO (Reuters) — Sebastian Vettel stretched his
championship lead over Lewis Hamilton to 25 points on Sunday
after becoming the first Ferrari driver since Michael Schumacher
in 2001 to win Formula One’s showcase Monaco Grand Prix.Team mate Kimi Raikkonen, on pole for the first time in nine
years, lost out in the pitstops but secured a Ferrari one-two
with Hamilton finishing seventh for Mercedes after starting
13th.The German celebrated as jubilantly as his seven times
champion compatriot would have done, whooping over the radio and
beaming from the podium as mechanics sang the Italian national
anthem.”It’s obviously a great day for the team…great to get the
points, great to get the win,” said Vettel.As with Schumacher in his pomp there was also a distinct
whiff of ‘team orders’, with Raikkonen pitting first and Vettel
staying out for a further five laps in a move that worked in his
favor.His 45th career win was the German’s third in six races but
there was plenty of sympathy for Raikkonen, who last won with
Lotus in 2013.The Finn looked far from happy on the podium, staring
fixedly ahead and taking gulps of the Champagne as Vettel
sprayed his.”It’s still second place but it doesn’t feel awful good,” he
said. “It’s how it goes sometimes.””I know how it feels, it’s not a good feeling,” reigning
champion Nico Rosberg, who retired at the end of last year after
years of battling Hamilton at Mercedes, consoled him as he
conducted the post-race interviews on the finish straight.Australian Daniel Ricciardo took his second successive
podium with third place for Red Bull.MINIMAL OVERTAKINGIn a race with plenty of sunshine and minimal overtaking,
late crashes ensured the safety car made its traditional Monaco
appearance.While Raikkonen led for the first 34 laps, the writing was
on the wall at the pitstops with a consensus emerging already
before the start that Ferrari would favor the championship
leader.”It was a very tense race. I knew that (staying out) was the
chance to win and I was able to use that window and come out
ahead. After that I was able to control the gap behind,” said
Vettel.What had been a processional race, with the wider new cars
making overtaking more difficult, turned into sudden drama with
a collision between Jenson Button’s McLaren and Pascal
Wehrlein’s Sauber at the tunnel entrance.Wehrlein’s car was flipped on its side against the tire wall
and fence, with the German driver trapped inside and marshals
unable to do anything about it, after Button went down the
inside in what looked like a wildly optimistic attempt to pass.Button parked his damaged car at the other end of the tunnel
with the safety car deployed.Wehrlein’s team mate Marcus Ericsson then plowed straight
on into the barriers at the first corner with 13 laps remaining.Ricciardo gained his places on strategy, with Dutch team
mate Max Verstappen venting his fury over the radio with some
pithy language after discovering he was behind his team mate
despite starting in front.Verstappen finished fifth, behind Valtteri Bottas for
Mercedes, with Carlos Sainz sixth for Toro Rosso. Frenchman
Romain Grosjean was eighth.Brazilian Felipe Massa was ninth for Williams and Denmark’s
Kevin Magnussen took the final point for Haas. Mexican Sergio
Perez was 13th, ending his run of 15 successive points finishes
for Force India.Former champions McLaren’s hopes of a first point of the
season had already disappeared 12 laps from the end when Belgian
rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, who had been 10th, crashed at the same
place as Ericsson.Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was the first to retire, pulling
over at the tunnel entrance with smoke coming out of the rear of
his Renault on lap 16.