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Taking full advantage of generous, if grim-faced, support from his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who led from pole position until the pit-stops, the four-time champion came home 3.1 seconds clear of the Finn in glorious Mediterranean sunshine. "Obviously it's a bad surprise when somebody comes out ahead".

Said Vettel of his victory: "It was a very intense race and I had to be patient. Obviously they have reasons for whatever they do". The lead auto normally gets priority. He continued his great start to the season and clearly has the upper hand over his team mate Danil Kvyat whose missed out on points after being taken out by Sergio Perez in the dying stages of the race. That's maybe what you like to do, you're on the fresher tyres sooner.

"I haven't spoken to the team, and I don't really plan to", Hamilton added. "Then Valtteri had really good pace, we were struggling more with our rears and at that point the [pit] window opened". This proved crucial when he eventually pitted, as the German returned to the track ahead of Raikkonen. Tomorrow I'll try everything I can to get up as high as possible.

"I know how it feels, it's not a good feeling", reigning champion Nico Rosberg, who retired at the end of previous year, consoled him at the post-race interview.

"I think it's probably one of the rare occasions where the overcut turned out to be positive".

When he was asked directly if he thought Ferrari's strategy had cost him victory, he added: "I haven't seen what happened, I only know what happened when I was in the auto but I haven't seen the bigger piucture. Nevertheless, I'll happily take it", Raikkonen said.

Vettel said he could understand if Raikkonen - who said his result didn't "count a lot" - wasn't happy after the race.

THE 2017 Monaco Grand Prix has wrapped up with Ferrari ending a 16-year drought in Monte Carlo.

With so long to go, the last thing Ferrari needs is Raikkonen feeling let down.

It was a bad weekend for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton - who is second behind Vettel in the standings - finishing seventh after starting from 13th because of a poor qualifying session. A fantastic weekend for Ferrari. I pushed everything I had because I knew if there is a chance to win, then that's it. It means an bad lot to the team.

In another interview, he told reporters: "I'm trying to figure out something that is impossible to know right now, at least from my side".

"It's just been fantastic". This team is working very hard.

"Although it is 12 years since I last watched it on TV".

"At the moment we don't know what went wrong with the vehicle".

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his auto during the Formula One Grand Prix at the Monaco racetrack in Monaco, Sunday, May 28, 2017.

"But the part were I was in clear air I enjoyed".

"Valtteri didn't have any struggles today, so I'm a bit confused and I can't pinpoint the problem", Hamilton said.