Nico Rosberg has explained how a loss of rhythm during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday proved to be costly as he finished second behind Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the fight for pole position.
Rosberg entered Saturday’s qualifying session in search of a third straight pole position in Monaco, but a mistake on his final flying lap meant that he finished three-tenths of a second adrift of Hamilton at the top of the timesheets.
Whereas Hamilton bounced back from a loss of rhythm in Q2, Rosberg said that he moved in the opposite direction, becoming increasingly uncomfortable as the session progressed.
“Probably a bit the opposite to Lewis in that I had a good rhythm to starting off qualifying, which I didn’t have all weekend so it was good to get into it in qualifying, and then lost touch towards the end going for it,” Rosberg said.
“I had to because I knew Lewis was going to be quick. I needed to go for it and it didn’t work out, so that’s it.”
Rosberg explained how he remained confident of pole heading into the final part of Q3, given that he was only one-tenth of a second behind Hamilton ahead of their final runs.
“It was very close and I was confident I could improve on my lap time,” Rosberg said. “[I] changed my balance also as on my first run I had too much understeer.
“I was confident it was going to come my way, but then it didn’t.”
Given that ten of the last eleven F1 races in Monaco have been won from pole position, the odds are not stacked in Rosberg’s favor. However, he will be hoping to buck the trend and become just the fourth driver in F1 history to win the Monaco Grand Prix for three years running.
F1 Countdown for the Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 7am on Sunday, before switching over to NBC at 7:30am ET for the race.