Nico Rosberg is under investigation after bringing out yellow flags during the final part of qualifying yesterday, inadvertently securing himself pole position by denying his rivals the chance to better his time.
After the first set of runs during Q3, he enjoyed a 0.059 second advantage over his teammate, giving Hamilton one more chance to secure his first pole position at Monaco. However, during his final flying lap, the German made a mistake at Mirabeau, and was forced to take evasive action down a slip road to avoid hitting the wall.
Although this did end Rosberg’s qualifying early, it also brought out yellow flags that meant none of the other drivers could post a lap time that was better than his, thus securing himself pole position.
In the post-qualifying press conference, Rosberg apologized to Hamilton for accidentally denying him the chance to go for pole. However, Hamilton just mumbled: “I was a couple of tenths up…” and said little more.
Then, speaking to the media after the race, Hamilton was asked whether he thought the move was deliberate.
“Who knows?” he said. When pressed further, he said: “I’m not saying anything.”
Rosberg is now under investigation by the stewards for going off during the final part of qualifying. The stewards are also looking at incidents of blocking involving Sergio Perez, Esteban Gutierrez, Pastor Maldonado and Daniil Kvyat.
The incident is reminiscent of Michael Schumacher’s act of cheating in 2006, when he deliberately stopped his car at La Rascasse to secure pole position for Ferrari. Here, he clearly had no intention of making the corner, and was duly excluded from qualifying by the stewards.