The stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix have decided to take no action against Nico Rosberg after the German driver went off-track during qualifying today, and inadvertently denied Lewis Hamilton a chance to beat him to pole position.
Rosberg was on provisional pole after the first runs during Q3, posting a lap time that was 0.059 seconds quicker than Hamilton’s best lap. However, during his final flying lap, he appeared to make a mistake at Mirabeau and had to go down the slip road in order to avoid hitting the wall.
This brought out yellow flags, and meant that all of the cars behind Rosberg on the track had to slow down. Hamilton backed off as a result, and was fuming that he had to settle for second place, inferring that it could have been a deliberate move. Michael Schumacher pulled a similar move in 2006 that was clearly deliberate, and was excluded from qualifying as a result.
Rosberg denied that there was anything cynical about the move, but the stewards still opted to investigate the matter. However, they have now decided to take no action against the German driver.
An official statement from the stewards read:
“The stewards examined video and telemetry data from the team and FIA and could find no evidence of any offence related to the turn five incident.”
Therefore, Rosberg will start the Monaco Grand Prix from pole position for the second year in a row, and he will be looking to convert this into another win after claiming victory last season.
This will come as a bitter blow to Hamilton, though, who would have hoped to benefit from his teammate’s demotion. However, from second place, he can still vie for his fifth straight win, but there could well be fireworks between the two Silver Arrows on Sunday.