Monaco Grand Prix: Nico Rosberg's Pole Position Under Investigation
In the final minutes of the qualifying session, Nico Rosberg lost control and left the circuit, resulting in yellow flags. Hamilton had to ease off for the resultant yellow flags and then abandoned his lap, which had been a few hundredths of a second quicker than Rosberg's in sector one.
Nico Rosberg's Monaco Grand Prix pole position was being investigated by the race stewards on Saturday after he lost control and left the circuit, causing yellow flags to be waved in the final minutes of a tense qualifying session.
Rosberg's Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, whose lap was wrecked by the flags, was adamant that he would have taken pole, if he had completed his lap at full speed.
Both drivers were on their final Q3 flying laps, with Rosberg already enjoying a slight advantage having claimed the provisional pole with an earlier fastest lap, when he locked up at Mirabeau and slid down the escape road.
Hamilton had to ease off for the resultant yellow flags and then abandoned his lap, which had been a few hundredths of a second quicker than Rosberg's in sector one.
Rosberg said that he had simply made a mistake, but the nature of the incident clearly left the stewards uncertain if it was deliberate or not.
And the German driver was summoned to an investigation to discover if there was any intent to deliberately hamper Hamilton's prospects.
"I tried to make it, but turned out as I was going to hit the tyre wall," explained 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.
"I can't say I've been in this position before. Never had that happen before," said Hamilton.
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."
"Nico has been quick all weekend and I've been working away with it all weekend," said Hamilton.
"I knew starting the last lap that this was it, and I was two (hundredths) up.
"I was on the pole lap, but I guess it doesn't matter."