Rosberg takes Monaco Grand Prix pole despite Mirabeau incident

Rosberg qualifying

Nico Rosberg claimed his second successive Monaco Grand Prix pole position despite going off at the tight Mirabeau corner on his final flying lap.

The German was the faster of the Mercedes duo on the first runs in the top ten shootout, shading Lewis Hamilton by 59 thousandths of a second.

But then he made a mistake on his final Q3 lap, locking up and sliding up the escape road at Mirabeau.

But as Hamilton, who was behind Rosberg on track, was slow in the middle sector of his final lap because of the resulting yellow flags, the 2008 Formula 1 world champion was unable to attempt to defeat Rosberg.

Daniel Ricciardo continued his strong Monaco Grand Prix weekend by beating his Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel to third, with the Scuderia of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen claiming the third row.

Jean-Eric Vergne qualified seventh after winning his personal battle with McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen.

The second Toro Rosso driver, Daniil Kvyat, impressed by surviving a crash in Q1 at the chicane that ripped off his front wing by making it to Q3 in ninth, ending up ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.

Jenson Button, winner in Monaco in 2009, was the biggest-name casualty in Q2, ending up P12 behind Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was P13, with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado behind him as the Lotus team continued to have a difficult weekend.

Felipe Massa ended up only P16 after being unable to participate in Q2.

The Williams driver let Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson through at Mirabeau in the closing stages of Q1, but the Swede had to correct a rear-end slide under braking for the right-hander and hit Massa, who was holding a wide line.

Both cars nosed into the barrier and neither was able to get back to the pits, although Massa did get his car going again but then ground to a halt.

This incident meant that the battle to avoid elimination in Q1 was interrupted and there were few late changes, with Sauber pairing Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil ending up P17 and P18.

Marussia pairing Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton filled the tenth row, with the Caterhams of Kamui Kobayashi and Ericsson at the back.

And yet the major talking point post-qualifying was that Rosberg incident.

There was a divided opinion in the paddock that the Silver Arrows driver had deliberately made the mistake to prevent his team-mate in scoring pole position.

Comparisons were made to a similar incident back in 2006, when Michael Schumacher parked his car at La Rascasse to stop Fernando Alonso challenging for pole. The race stewards looked into the incident then and threw Schumacher back to the end of the grid.

As for the 2014 incident, Rosberg said he made a genuine error. The stewards spent several hours investigating and in the end found no evidence of a deliberately move to prevent Hamilton from challenging to pole position.

And yet, the rivarly between Rosberg and Hamilton had just been stirred up even further following the news that more engine power was used for 2008 Formula 1 world champion to win the previous race in Spain… The Monaco Grand Prix is going to be a fascinating contest between the Silver Arrows.

Monaco Grand Prix, qualifying times:

1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m15.989s
2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes              1m16.048s
3. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault      1m16.384s
4. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m16.547s
5. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m16.686s
6. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari               1m17.389s
7. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault    1m17.540s
8. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes      1m17.555s
9. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault    1m18.090s
10. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes  1m18.327s
11. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m17.846s
12. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m17.988s
13. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes     1m18.082s
14. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m18.196s
15. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault         1m18.356s
16. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes     No time
17. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari        1m18.741s
18. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari        1m18.745s
19. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari      1m19.332s
20. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari      1m19.928s
21. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault      1m20.133s
22. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault      1m21.732s

107 per cent time: 1m22.985s

7 thoughts to “Rosberg takes Monaco Grand Prix pole despite Mirabeau incident”

  1. After taking pole position in the most controversial way, the Mercedes driver commented that his off in Mirabeau was not deliberate. has the news story.

    Nico Rosberg insists he did not deliberately cause an incident in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying to deny Lewis Hamilton pole.

    The German slid down the Mirabeau escape road after locking up on his final flying lap in Q3.

    Rosberg held provisional pole at the time, and Hamilton abandoned his own lap after coming across the yellows for his team-mate, ensuring that Rosberg stayed ahead.

    The stewards are now investigating the incident.

    “I tried to make it, but turned out as I was going to hit the tyre wall,” said Rosberg.

    “It was close but I managed to go into the escape road.

    “I know that I had a really good banker in there, so I tried to push that little bit more and went over the edge.”

    Hamilton refused to answer when asked if he felt Rosberg had tried to deliberately disrupt his pole bid.

    Rosberg insisted he had thought pole was lost when he went off. “I thought it was over,” he said.

    “I thought the track would ramp up and somebody else would do a time.

    “But I’m really, really happy – to be on pole at home is fantastic, it couldn’t be better.”

    Asked for his thoughts on his incident denying Hamilton a pole shot, Rosberg replied: “Of course I’m sorry for what happened for Lewis.

    “I didn’t know exactly where he was until I was reversing and saw him coming up.

    “Of course that’s not great, but that’s the way it is.”

  2. Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff says suggestions that Nico Rosberg deliberately caused the incident that denied team-mate Lewis Hamilton a shot at Monaco Grand Prix pole are “bullsh*t”.

    Rosberg’s pole is currently under investigation – although the Mercedes team has yet to be summoned by the stewards – after he prompted yellow flags by sliding down the Mirabeau escape road on his final flying lap.

    The yellows meant Hamilton backed off and abandoned his lap, which had been slightly faster than Rosberg’s at the first split, leaving the Briton second on the grid behind his team-mate.

    Despite the investigation and Hamilton’s refusal to answer direct questions over whether he thought Rosberg had tried to disrupt his pole bid, Wolff insisted the matter was a non-story.

    “Did he say that?” he replied when told that Hamilton might suspect the incident was deliberate.

    “I don’t think that anybody does that [deliberately crash] in modern day Formula 1.

    “He missed his braking and he took the escape road. There is no more to add.

    “I know you guys want a spicy, controversial story, but it’s all bulls***.”

    Wolff denied that the matter would stoke tension between his drivers, who are engaged in a private battle for the 2014 F1 title.

    “I think if you are P2 and your team-mate is P1 there is no reason to be happy,” he said of Hamilton’s demeanour.

    “We’d like to have two happy drivers. But if you have two drivers who are as competitive as they are then every weekend is going to be a case of one being happy and the other unhappy.

    “I’m 1001 per cent happy and happy that I’m controlling them to be happy.

    “It’ll be no problem to manage the drivers. Lewis is super-fine in the debrief.”

    He played down the significance of Rosberg reversing back towards the track, saying that it was irrelevant as his mistake had brought out yellows regardless.

    “I don’t know if he reversed on track, but qualifying had finished anyway,” said Wolff. “There was yellow flags, so the session was finished.”


  3. This was a difficult qualifying session for the defending world champion Sebastian Vettel, despite the fact the Red Bull driver setting the fourth fastest time. has the story.

    Sebastian Vettel was hampered in Monaco Grand Prix qualifying by a problem with his Red Bull’s ERS.

    Vettel qualified fourth, 0.163 seconds behind team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and nearly 0.6s down on poleman Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, but felt he was capable of more.

    “As far as I’m concerned qualifying was good, in terms of the car balance,” said the reigning Formula 1 world champion.

    “We got more or less everything out of the car, but unfortunately halfway through Q1 we had a problem with the ERS.

    “I lost the ability to discharge at the maximum rate.

    “Initially halfway down the straight I was just relying on the engine. We were able to get some [back] – it was a bit hit and miss, sometimes it was working, other times it wasn’t on the same straight.

    “Towards the end we were able too run a little bit below the maximum, which gave us a more consistent discharge, but still not full power.”

    Vettel was unsure how much time the issue cost him, but conceded it was “not enough for pole”.

    “It was initial acceleration and top end,” he added. “Obviously when you lose out, especially early in acceleration, it is quite costly in terms of laptime.

    “The only comparison I saw was in Q2, compared to Daniel, and from what I was reading it was of the magnitude of four tenths.

    “There’s nothing I could do. We tried everything to recover, but it didn’t work. At some stage you just focus on the lap.”

    The German also confirmed the yellow flag, caused by Rosberg’s off at Mirabeau, further hurt his efforts.

    “I think the circuit was improving and I did have a little bit in hand in the last sector,” said Vettel. “But we had the yellow flag at the end of sector one/start of sector two so I had to back off.

    “We’re better than we’ve been before probably Barcelona.”

    Despite being best-of-the-rest behind Mercedes, Ricciardo was not satisfied with his best lap.

    “We left a bit on the table,” said the Australian. “We fought the car pretty hard in qualifying and I thought I was getting around it OK.

    “Coming up to Turn 8 [Portier] I lost the rear, it was pretty much the luck was gone after that.

    “It’s frustrating – I think we could have been a bit closer.”

  4. Marcus Ericsson will have to start the Monaco Grand Prix from the pitlane following a collision with Formula 1 rival Felipe Massa in qualifying.

    The Caterham driver clipped Massa’s Williams cars at Mirabeau during Q1, pitching both men in to the barriers.

    His actions prompted a stewards’ investigation, and it was decided that he was to blame for causing the collision.

    The stewards said that as a result he would have to start from the pitlane, as well as having two penalty points added to his licence.

    Ericsson admitted he had made a mistake.

    “It was my last quick lap of the session, and I didn’t really get a clean lap before that because there was a lot of traffic,” he said. “I locked up the rears going into the corner, and I went into the wall.

    “Obviously it’s a shame that Massa was there on the other side. I can understand he’s frustrated. I tried to push for my lap, just locked up and I couldn’t use the escape road because obviously Felipe was there.

    “You don’t get a penalty for braking too late and going into the barrier, but because Felipe was involved the stewards looked into it.”

    Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was also reprimanded for impeding Pastor Maldonado during Q1.


  5. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso commented that fifth was the best possible position at Monaco Grand Prix. has the full details.

    Fernando Alonso believes his fifth place on the Monaco Grand Prix grid represents his best qualifying performance of the 2014 Formula 1 season.

    Alonso was 0.7 seconds quicker than Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and a similar distance behind the polesitting Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

    Last time out in Spain, Alonso was almost two seconds off pole.

    “I think this one was probably my best of the year,” said the double world champion.

    “In Q2 I started to get some pace, I started pushing a little bit harder, and then in Q3 I extracted the maximum [from the car].

    “The two laps were good; I was really happy with the laps and the balance of the car. We were only one or two tenths away from [Sebastian] Vettel, which is a good surprise.

    “Obviously we still have to improve in all areas, qualifying also, but Monaco has been my best qualifying. It is for sure my favourite circuit for one-lap performance, for taking risks.”

    Alonso pointed out that Ferrari had made progress over the weekend by trying more changes than normal.

    “During the weekend we made some important changes; normally we don’t change the set-up so much,” he said.

    “But here we suffered a little bit with understeer, and with braking problems, so we worked a lot on that and the car felt more competitive in qualifying.”

    Raikkonen was less happy with his F14 T.

    “It just seemed to be more difficult – at the beginning of qualifying it was a bit better and then it seemed to get more tricky,” he said.

    “It’s been a difficult weekend so far again, just fighting with the car all the time. It’s not really set-up, we don’t seem to get the tyres working very well and are struggling with the fronts on this circuit.”

    The Finn believes the nature of Monaco has exacerbated his balance issues.

    “It’s difficult to resolve because obviously on a normal circuit you can push,” he added.

    “On a normal circuit you can run wide [and] it’s fine, here there’s no second chance.”

  6. Post-qualifying, the paddock talk was all about that incident into Mirabeau. Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff insists there was nothing suspicious about Nico Rosberg. has the news story.

    Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff insists there was nothing suspicious about Nico Rosberg’s wild steering movements on the entry to Mirabeau during the controversial end to Monaco Grand Prix qualifying.

    Rosberg was investigated after securing pole position to see if he had deliberately run off the track to bring out the yellow flags.

    Although the race stewards ruled that he had done nothing wrong, questions were raised about his actions – and especially the strange steering inputs before he locked up and went down the escape road.

    Felipe Massa was one driver who questioned how the incident looked from the on-board footage.

    “The steering was a bit strange, but what can you do?” he explained.

    “He made a mistake, but you cannot say he did it on purpose or not. He will say no forever.”

    Wolff has revealed that the team’s telemetry data shows that Rosberg was simply trying to keep control of his car after braking too late for the corner.

    “The car was unsettled,” Wolff told AUTOSPORT after Rosberg was cleared of any wrong doing.

    “We see it on the data that he was braking a bit later [into Mirabeau]. They both braked later in Turn 3 [Massenet) already, both the exact same amount of metres.

    “They both braked later on each of the runs and this is what it was. It was just an unsettled car because he was braking later.”

    Although Mercedes is keen to play down the incident, Wolff says that suspicions expressed by Hamilton about Rosberg’s actions can be explained by the intensity of the title fight.

    “If you want to win a world championship, you have to be suspicious,” he said.

    “It is not going to be the last time it is going to get emotionally intense between the drivers. If you have a shot at the world championship that is clear.”

    Wolff is adamant, however, that the team can move on from the Monaco qualifying incident after Rosberg apologised to Hamilton.

    “It is all discussed and it was a very tough narrow fight between the two of them,” he said.

    “We analysed the data and there is nothing else to be said.”

  7. Toro Rosso’s Formula 1 rookie Daniil Kvyat says he was “lucky” to continue qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, after striking the barrier in Q1.

    The Russian lost control of his car on a bump under braking for the chicane after the tunnel and smashed the nose of the Toro Rosso on the right-hand barrier.

    He continued to the pits, replaced the nose and scraped through the first segment of the session by setting the 16th fastest time, before going on to qualify ninth on his first visit to the Monte Carlo street circuit.

    “In particular moments there are some things that happen for the first time and there is nothing you can really do,” Kvyat said when asked by AUTOSPORT about the incident.

    “I just caught the bump in the wrong way and it snapped my rear completely away.

    “I just lost control and I think I was lucky I could continue the session.”

    Kvyat said he was also surprised by how competitive the Toro Rossos were in Monte Carlo, after getting both cars through to Q3 in dry conditions for the first time in 2014.

    “To be honest we did not expect to have an easy one on this track,” Kvyat added.

    “Today the track was better than Thursday, which helped my confidence because there was more grip.

    “In the end you just have to have a good feeling with the car, a good feeling with the tyres, and try to attack and put the lap together. I just felt really confident today.”

    Kvyat’s team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne scored his best dry qualifying result of the season by going seventh fastest in the sister Toro Rosso.

    He topped Q1 and reckoned he could have beaten Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari to sixth but for the yellow flags brought out by Nico Rosberg running straight on at Mirabeau in the dying minutes.

    “P7 is pretty encouraging. I think there was three tenths left, [but for] the yellow flag from Rosberg in the end,” Vergne said.

    “I’m still happy. I think [beating] Raikkonen should have been possible.

    “I don’t say I would have, but he was two tenths up and it would easily have been possible to get those two tenths.”


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