Oddly, nemesis Fernando Alonso defended McLaren's strategy call on qualifying, while Lewis Hamilton was angry with his team.
"The engineers advised we should do one run at the end of Q3 and I didn't contest it," rued the Briton, disrupted by the Sergio Perez red flag and his seventh quickest time becoming just ninth on the grid due to jumping a chicane.
"Here you can't take risks like leaving it right to the end. You can't win from there but I won't give up," said Hamilton.
It was therefore odd to hear Alonso with words of near-encouragement for Hamilton, his track nemesis, and the strategists at McLaren, a team he fell out with badly during their single season together in 2007.
"He (Hamilton) had the greatest bad luck of the day," said the Spaniard. "I believe Lewis was the favourite for pole position.
"He was fastest in Q1, fast also in Q2, so to see him seventh you know that something else has gone a bit wrong for them."
Hamilton conceded that he almost certainly cannot win from the middle of the grid, and Alonso - on the back of the second row - is also not hopeful.
"I don't think the adjustable wing or KERS will help (overtaking) much," he said.
I don't think the adjustable wing or KERS will help
Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel added: "There is not the big difference in performance between the tyres here, which is the main reason for so much overtaking (elsewhere) this year.
"It will be a Monaco similar to past years, and different to the other races this year because there won't be much overtaking," said the German.