It was clearly apparent that four-time champion Vettel was favoured by Ferrari for victory over his Finnish team-mate, who had taken pole position and led the race comfortably from the start before being called in for an untimely early pit-stop that gave Vettel the initiative.
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.
And so it proved.
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.
"It's clear to me that Ferrari have chosen their number one driver", Hamilton told reporters. "We've just got to make sure we're ahead of them so we don't need to be in the same scenario". Vettel went on to snatch the victory from Raikkonen with a lead of 3.14 seconds, also extending his lead in the championship points. "The leading auto, it is very hard for him to get jumped unless the team decide to favour the other vehicle, so it's great for him (Vettel)", Hamilton said after the Monaco GP, via ESPN. "So, what they have done is very clear".
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Hamilton had a forgettable weekend in Monaco.
It is interesting that the medias who exploit this story are from Great Brittain mostly, and that they are not reporting about the bad performance of Lewis Hamilton who started from the 13th place and in the end finished on the 7th.
"I'm a driver, I can do whatever I want, I can stop the vehicle if I want to, but we work as a team and if you don't believe in how they work then it's very complicated", he said.
"It's obvious that I can not afford another weekend like this". You just work towards trying to rectify whatever issues you have and hope that you don't come across it again.
"I don't think they saw it coming".
"I have the smartest strategist and they said the best result looked like 10th but I went in with a positive mentality and pushed as hard as I could", Hamilton said. One more race like this and we'll be much further behind'.
Behind the top three, Bottas managed to salvage fourth and some points for Mercedes, fending off the Red Bull of Verstappen who took fifth, with the Toro Rosso of Sainz in sixth.
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