Vettel happy again after extending lead with Monaco GP win

"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.

"Both drivers seem to be equally competitive or uncompetitive and that has been different all through the season for us".

MONACO (AP) - Sebastian Vettel stood out last season for his furious rants more than his slick driving. Angry, moving 25 points clear of Lewis Hamilton and in serious contention for a fifth title. Kimi Raikkonen made an unnecessary pit stop at lap 34 which helped Vettel to build a 10 second lead within 8 laps.

Mercedes had already experienced a problem in Thursday's second practice, when the team botched a switch into quicker ultra-soft tires and Hamilton placed eighth in P2 with Bottas 10th. The Mercedes driver believes that deficit is going to be even harder to overhaul if Ferrari is favouring Vettel. Faster and - so far - more reliable, with a calm and confident Vettel behind the wheel, the Prancing Horse is galloping away.

It was a landmark win for Ferrari, their first in Monaco since 2001 and a first 1-2 since 2010.

It is the second race weekend this season that Hamilton has failed to finish on the podium - while Vettel has finished no lower than second in 2017 - following the Briton's uncharacteristically below-par display in Russian Federation. We know the Ferraris are not bulletproof'.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in action. It might be the other way."So yes, we are the underdog and we need to catch up".

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"This vehicle now is not working every single race we go to".

"We've just been missing pace", Bottas said. "He is happy in the auto if he likes the vehicle, can stay with me as much as he wants". As the German national anthem played, he stood atop the podium with his eyes closed.

He pitted after Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, but all three would lose out by pitting early.

Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who started from pole position for the first time in nine years, appeared on course to win by holding off Vettel in the opening phase of a processional race. "Obviously it's a bad surprise when somebody comes out ahead".

But Raikkonen saw nothing to smile about and the question being asked elsewhere was whether Ferrari had manipulated the pitstops to ensure Vettel got ahead. Today it was impossible to overtake and I tried everything to get past Carlos [Sainz] at the end!

Sergio Marchionne will have a better idea after the first and second place in the Monaco GP 2017.

"And on the opposite side, Ferrari put the auto on the track in Barcelona and were quick from the get go, so yes, we are the underdog, yes we need to catch up".


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