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.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.