Did Rosberg deliberately go off at Mirabeau?

2014 Monaco Grand Prix

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Did Nico Rosberg deliberately go off on his final qualifying lap to prevent his team mate beating him to pole position?

The Monaco Grand Prix stewards are investigating whether Rosberg’s skid at Mirabeau on his final lap was a genuine mistake, or an attempt to stop Lewis Hamilton from bettering his time.

Rosberg appeared to lose control of his car, then steered into an escape road. However because of the limited amount of run-off at Monaco, the yellow flags were displayed, which meant the cars following him had to back off. They included Hamilton, who was the only driver likely to beat Rosberg to pole.

Up until that point the two Mercedes drivers had been in one of their closest battles for pole position so far this season, with the advantage to-ing and fro-ing between the pair of them.

First blood went to Rosberg in Q1 – he was quicker by 0.145s. Hamilton hit back in Q2, pipping his team mate by 0.111s.

But the pendulum swung again when Q3 began. Rosberg led the two cars around on their first run and posted a 1’15.989. Hamilton crossed the line 11 seconds after his team mate and posted a time that was 0.059s slower. Here’s how their sector times compared:

DriverSector oneSector twoSector threeFinishing line
Nico Rosberg19.82635.24120.9221’15.989
Lewis Hamilton19.97335.14020.9351’16.048

The next quickest driver was Daniel Ricciardo, almost four-tenths of a second slower than Rosberg and unlikely to make the difference with his final run. The contest for pole position was between the two Mercedes drivers.

Rosberg began his final effort with 57 seconds remaining in Q3. Behind him were Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastian Vettel, followed by Hamilton – who crossed the start line just as Rosberg reached Mirabeau.

The first sector ends just before the corner and Rosberg lost 0.124s going through it compared to his first effort. Approaching Mirabeau he appeared to make several corrections to his car’s steering, then at the last moment swung left and headed for the escape road.

With the Mercedes sitting in a narrow escape road yellow flags were waved in sector six, which covers Mirabeau and the approach to the Fairmont Hotel hairpin.

Vettel, Kvyat and then Hamilton each passed by – Hamilton doing so after setting a personal best of 19.906s in sector one. With that he’d only have needed to replicate his previous times from sectors two and three to take pole position. But as he had to back off for the yellow flag, he couldn’t.

The incident immediately drew comparisons with Michael Schumacher’s infamous manouevre at the same circuit eight years ago. Schumacher had been quickest with his first lap in Q3 but was on a slower time, and deliberately stopped his car at Rascasse to bring out the yellow flags and stop his rivals, including Fernando Alonso, from beating him time. The stewards sent him to the back of the grid.

Did Rosberg do something similar today? Afterwards he insisted his approach to the corner had been little different to before and said the data would support that. His team mate, unsurprisingly, was not impressed.

Over to you

Was Rosberg’s Mirabeau moment fair or foul? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Did Rosberg deliberately go off at Mirabeau to take pole position?

  • No opinion (2%)
  • Strongly disagree (34%)
  • Slightly disagree (19%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (8%)
  • Slightly agree (21%)
  • Strongly agree (16%)

Total Voters: 545

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Update: Rosberg’s pole confirmed as stewards take no action

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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134 comments on “Did Rosberg deliberately go off at Mirabeau?”

  1. Nope. That is just food for conspiracy theory makers.

    1. Conspiracy requires more than one person. You think Mercedes were in on it?

    2. Alex McFarlane
      24th May 2014, 17:04

      I don’t believe there’s any conspiracy, just the media trying to stir things up and turn it into a rivalry that it’ll never be.

      1. There wasn’t any need in this case for any media to stir anything up — it was pretty much the first thing that occurred to me and many other people, even though I don’t actually believe Rosberg did it deliberately. I’m quite happy to blame the media when I think it’s their fault, but this time it isn’t!

        1. First thing that occurred to me as well, not to mention nearly everyone that commented immediately on the “Live” thread.

          No media was needed.

    3. I’d be curious to see how the balance of answers to this poll changes (if at all), post-stewards conclusions.

    4. I think it is possible, having knew he was unlikely to improve, he did take a very different line, and made some unneeded corrections, and then reversing as Lewis appeared? I don’t know if he was aware that Lewis was there or not, only Nico know if it was a malicious action. Obviously, if you’re going to do it, you’re not going to do it stupidly like Schumacher, and you’re going to make it look like a genuine mistake so you don’t get punished. I think it is maybe a 30-40% chance it was deliberate, but it was most likely a genuine mistake, Rosberg seems like a pretty genuine guy.

    5. I think that if Rosberg had not yet set a time at all (would have started 10th) then it is extremely unlikely that he would have made that ‘mistake’. Having secured a good position made him not care too much about that lap. He was probably going to take every corner at its very limit or not take the corner at all.

      1. I think that if Rosberg had not yet set a time at all (would have started 10th) then it is extremely unlikely that he would have made that ‘mistake’.

        That’s the worst position I can take on it, too. I don’t think he did it on purpose (although only he really knows whether he did), but he may have pushed further than he normally would, knowing that a mistake would not cost him pole as HAM would have to slow for the yellows.

  2. I’m a Hamilton fan through and through, and i was furious when it happened, especially when Nico had a big grin on his face, celebrating afterwards, But NO, i really don’t think he’s that sort of a driver, even though his inputs did look quite strange

    he should get a penalty for reversing into the track though. F1 engines can easily idle for a couple of minutes. should have waited for the last car to go past, then reversed out and gone back to the garages

    1. As has been pointed out. The yellows would have been waved even then.

      1. There is nothing he could have done about the continued waving of the yellows, but he could have not put his car in a more dangerous position by reversing.

        1. Yup – It’s definitively a media thing – As a racing driver myself, I saw absolutely nothing wrong the moment he went off and I still don’t – It was only once the sky sports f1 commentators brought it up I thought, wow – There is a possibility he made it on purpose, but no – My intuition says that there’s absolutely no fault in play.

        2. Yeah the reversing was stupid, and unnecessary. I guess he wanted to go back to the pits, to get the glory and celebration for his pole position. I’m a bit undecided yet, as his weaving around in the braking phase, just looked weird, and he was of the line too.
          If I’m being a cynic, it looked like a much better performed Schumacher manouvre, but actually I think he had in the back of his mind, that he would give it all on that lap, and if something happened; no biggie, as he would still have pole.

    2. I think the cars have a security button that prevents them from stalling when stopping? If the driver is quick enough to activate it, the car won’t shut down, I believe. Anyway, totally agree about Rosberg reversing. Though about having gone off intentionally, can’t really believe it. Still, I can’t blame Hamilton for being angry, it looked a bit strange at first sight, and remember the mental state drivers are in those moments. Maybe Lewis has chilled. Maybe not. Only he knows.
      To sum up, I can’t give an answer to the poll question. But Nico shouldn’t have reversed back at all.

      1. +1
        red mist and all.
        Lewis was up on his previous time and sector 2 is his favourite. i’d be questioning Lewis’s sanity if he wan’t upset about having to slow for the yellow flags and thus loosing his only opportunity to better his team mate.

        1. rosberg is german the team is german of course lewis is puttiong thjeir noses out of joint????,if he wins they play the british national anthem, and the old croutskyus dont like that, nor does angela merkel, stuff the team and get back to the brits, cos whatever happens you will never win with them:::: ever ,,, as long as rosberg is in the team,, you are great lewis fantastic, but the team will centre on rosberg::::: get out soonest

          1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
            24th May 2014, 20:17

            I really doubt any aspect of F1 is truly dominated by nationalism in this way

          2. The team’s German in name only. The cars are designed and made in Brackley, a 15-minute drive from Silverstone. Their engineering director is Italian. Their technical director is British. Their chief aero guy comes from Belfast.

            So drop the xenophobic garbage.

    3. I’m a bit on the middle, really. I don’t think Rosberg would do such thing, but the steering movements were VERY odd. In comparision, Ericsson’s accident showed a clear lack of control, but in Rosberg’s case it was a bit of a weird moment.

      But what do I know, really? going into Mirabeau, shooting for a pole position, must be tricky enough…

    4. Some of you didn’t understand the situation. Rosberg has to drive back with the car’s own power, otherwise he would have been disqualified, unless he crashed. Remember 2 years ago with Hamilton’s Pole at Montreal where he famously pushed the car on the straight? The rule was clarify afterward. So if Rosberg turn the engine off without a proper crash he would have been disqualified, and he knew that very well, and this is why he reverse, instead of park and go.
      As to why he reverse at the time he did, I must agree to some of you that, he should get a penalty for it. You cannot stay in the driving line of a driver behind who is doing a hot lap, let alone reversing into the track….. Sometimes just make me think who were the stewards….

      Rosberg probably can get away with the “lost control” part, but reversing back into the track, seriously? The FIA can tolerate this?

      I always think that, if something like such happen, or like red flag with a couple minutes to go, the session time should be extended to give driver at least 1 proper lap. No to mention some other would be disadvantaged as the best of their tyre has already gone…. at least it is better than nothing. The rule needs to be changed.

  3. How do you agree or disagree with a question?

    1. By choosing the right circle :)

    2. Did Rosberg deliberately go off at Mirabeau to take pole position?

      That looks more like a yes-or-no question so it’s a bit odd to answer with something like ‘I agree” or “I disagree”. But English isn’t my native language …

      1. It is indeed a bit odd.

      2. I think it’s a question with a bit of an implicit affirmation.
        If you answer “I agree”, it´s more like “yes, he did” rather than “no, he didn’t”.
        English isn´t my native language neither…

  4. No but should’ve reversed

    1. shouldn’t have reversed

      1. What has that to do with anything? The yellow flags would have been waved anyways. Stop looking for reasons to complain about.

        1. The reason why people are complaining about Rosberg reversing towards the track is because the Sporting Regulations explicitly forbids drivers from driving against the direction of the traffic, unless it is the only way a car can be removed from a dangerous position.
          The indication is that Rosberg should have driven to the end of the escape road, where there is a mobile crane unit, in order for the marshals to remove his car from the circuit (which was how they removed Ericsson’s car from the circuit so quickly).

          1. The stewards don’t seem to see it that way.

          2. Agree with you 100%

            Shocked nobody is seeing the real danger the reversing into Hamiltonian corner as he approached the corner (even with yellows).

          3. The regulations about forbidding drivers from driving against the direction of the traffic has nothing to do with reversing onto the track, that is only if the driver is going forward (nose first) the wrong way.

          4. The ideal response by Rosberg (and the stewards) would have been to do that. His car was undamaged but he had no immediate reason to join the track with his own qualifying finished. Parking the car at the end of the run-off would have been safe for everyone and his own car would have been removed quickly.

            The issue seems to be ‘regulations’ i.e. where sensible responses become mired in rigid rules nobody’s sure are applicable. Rosberg may have thought that he had to reverse (out into the track, more dangerous, completely unnecessary in practical terms) or the yellow flags would continue. Or he knew full-well it would ensure they did at the crucial moment when Hamilton was due to pass. I guess we all take our pick on that one.

  5. It’s not in Nico’s nature to do a foul like that. It definitely wasn’t in his father’s.

    I think he simply went in too hot into the same corner where Chilton, Sutil, Ericsson and even Alonso got it wrong this weekend.

    However, I feel like he rejoined the circuit in an unsafe manner, when he knew he would not have been able to set another quick lap.

    1. Paul Ogbeiwi (@)
      24th May 2014, 17:00

      First time for everything? Except of course, you know Nico personally?

  6. I strongly disagree, the mistake wasn’t deliberate. The reversing however was unnecessary. He had no opportunity to do anything so he should have moved his car as far out of the way as possible and stayed there until he got a message saying there was nobody else coming on a lap. I feel he should be penalised for the reversing.

  7. I think it was an honest mistake. And I don’t want the stewards to do anything. I would much rather see a RACE tomorrow with two people going at it than a group of stewards deciding the race tonight. This would be the last thing F1 needs in an era of already too many technicalities

  8. Alex McFarlane
    24th May 2014, 17:01


  9. I don’t believe it was deliberate, He was clearly pushing at the limit & simply made a mistake.

    A lot is been made of the steering movements but I don’t really see that as been a big deal as I’ve seen similar many times before with drivers braking on the limit.

  10. I’m going to sit on the fence on this one. His corrections were fishy, but then I looked at some other on-boards from previous years and turns out several other drivers who overcooked that corner, made similar adjustments to save their lap.

    1. What we cant see from on board is what the rear us doing , his twitchy inputs are probably a result of catching the rears, remember , this is split second stuff

      1. It was the front of the car that would not turn in as Rosberg wanted it to and that is why he has two or three bites at the cherry before reaching the point at which he had to take to the escape road. Any driver worth his salt knows when the fronts are not gripping sufficiently to make a turn and there is very little time to decide what to do about it. F1 drivers have quicker reflexes than we mere mortals and so they have just a little more opportunity to get the car around the corner. This is why Rosberg starts to turn in, straightens the wheel, tries again and opts for the escape road. There is nothing suspicious in his steering motions – they are typical of a driver who has been a little too optimistic about his car’s ability to enter a corner at speed and who has to abandon the corner altogether.

  11. Don’t think he had any intention of going off track, that looked like a genuine mistake, but I’m not to sure what his motives behind reversing were. But did he actually prolong yellows by doing so or would they have remained out anyway? If it’s the latter than no penalty should be given. But if it’s the former, then the only fair thing to do is to penalize.

    1. But did he actually prolong yellows by doing so or would they have remained out anyway?

      They would have stayed out anyway.

      In the past when drivers have run straght on into the runoff at that corner, Yellow flags have remained out until the car was moved behind the barriers by the crane.

      1. In those circumstances, would that not have been because marshals were moving the vehicle?

    2. When he stopped there were around 30s left. How exactly did reversing “prolong” the yellow flags?

  12. It was deliberate in a sense: he deliberately went into the run-off area, because else he would have crashed into the wall.

    I’m pretty sure he didn’t do that on purpose, and I don’t see any problem with him reversing onto the track either because the yellow flags were waved anyway so the other drivers must not have been at full speed, so it wasn’t such a dangerous situation, and he also pulled to the left so there weren’t any trouble.

  13. I don’t think Rosberg did it on purpose.

  14. It certainly looked confusing from the on board camera, but I don’t think Nico is the type of driver to certain things. From the on board I knew he was going to run deep well before he locked up, he stayed in the centre of the track and adjusted the steering before he reached the braking zone, but I’m confident – and hope – he just made a mistake.

    1. As I was watching his onboard live, I was sh… brix just watching, he was going for it. He almost crashed at Massenet, went of at Mirabeau, but that’s just how it is in Monaco, all of the drivers who are on it almost crash all the time, sometimes crash, or go off, that’s Monaco, and that is why this is my favorite session of the year I always look forward to.

      His off was no surprise to me, nor did it seem intentional. Anyone who claims to know his intentions must must be able to read minds.

      And a couple of things to add, Rosberg did look like he was going to get it anyway, and I find the close on-track battle and all these hurt feelings absolutely amusing to watch.

  15. I dont have the ability to vote, but i would vote yes, deliberate.

    I dont think its takes a genius to see he took a very strange line down that straight and had some bizare steering wheel movements WAY before the corner. I thought it was out of character while it was live, even more so having re-watched it.

    PS. i think hes done his reputation no favours by getting out of his car and fist pumping after ruining everyone elses qualifying. Terrible.

    1. I don’t think it takes a genius to see that he was going far too fast and was trying desperately to gain control of the car and stop it going into the barriers. He locked up and ended up going down the escape road. Sky F1 in the UK showed the previous part of the lap, and it was already a lot scruffier than his previous attempt that (eventually, as it turns out) got him pole.

      As for his celebrations, he got pole at one of the trickiest tracks of them all. Had he cheated as you seem to think, he probably would have been a little more circumspect.

      Nico Rosberg has no history of doing things like this. More often than not, his driving is very clean.

      The only person whose qualifying he might have ruined was Hamilton. No-one else was going to get on pole.

      1. “I don’t think it takes a genius to see that he was going far too fast and was trying desperately to gain control of the car and stop it going into the barriers. He locked up and ended up going down the escape road.”

        He locked his wheel long after he’d missed the corner, and it only locked because he had alot of right handed steering on the wheel which un-loads it, making it easy to lock. Im talking about his strange steering long before the normaly braking zone for the corner.

        and PS, the only person whose qualifying he might have ruined was Hamiltons??? You do realise other cars are fighting for positions right, its not just about pole. Jesus.

        1. The fact that he locked his wheels so late is more “proof” that Rosberg didn’t do it deliberately though. Or at least I think so.

          It’s much easier to go off in a corner when slam on the brakes and lock up. Much less grip that way and it’s more obvious to the viewers that you’re in “trouble”.

          Like Schumacher did in Rascasse. But then the stewards could tell that he faked it because the date clearly showed that he intentionally locked the wheels when there was no apparent need to do so.

          1. I’m guessing he overdrove into the second sector knowing he was down, felt himself losing adherence, ‘corrected’ with his eye already on that nice escape road and ‘ended up’ heading off track with some suddenly not so great steering corrections and brake applications, decided he quite liked that idea, then realized his line would damage the car, corrected to avoid collision and caused the wheel lock at the end. Could be wrong though.

      2. AlienSexGod
        26th May 2014, 3:15

        Definitely deliberate with a weaving cover……. if he was on the racing line and kept straight then locked up at he braking point no problemo… but thats NOt what happened … he was WEAVING left and right about three times before the braking point when it was a STRAIGHT with zero obstacles, then he braked and locked up then dived left. Telemetry would have shown the weave and shown that there was no reason for it but for working out a way to lose the way … thinking about it in his indecision. I race and a race drive guns it STRAIGHT to his braking point… none of the weaving hmm let’s see how I can lose the car stuff!!!!

  16. Dion (@infinitygc)
    24th May 2014, 17:07

    When I originally saw the incident I was sure people would think of it as “Rosberg delibirately causing yellow”, and I thought he just made a mistake, no biggie.

    Then, after rewatching the incident a few times, I found it a bit suspicious, especially him wiggling his steering wheel that much. There’s no real reason for him doing that, which is why it caught my attention.

    All in all, I’d say I slightly agree. It was just looked a little bit too deliberate to me. Then again, that might just be me getting slightly bored at the domination and even as someone who’s generally quite skeptic of stuff like this, also just likes some controversy.

    1. Dion (@infinitygc)
      24th May 2014, 17:09

      It was just looked a little bit too deliberate to me.

      That “was” shouldn’t be there, oops!

    2. +1

      The 0.1 he was down in sector one is more than enough that he new he wouldn’t beat his previous time.

      IMO In the spur of the moment he executed plan B probably only half knowing what he did but it definitely looked more or less deliberate.

      But not necessarily something he set out to do when he started the lap, more a “f— it, Ill park it here then”.

  17. He did not reverse on track.
    Well he did eventually but this was after session was finished.

  18. He deliberately reversed back down the escape road so to prolong the yellows. Five place drop will suffice. Not as bad as Michael’s parking but he shouldn’t be gifted pole after cracking under pressure.

    1. To prolong the yellows that would have stayed out regardless?

      1. Would they? Not if he’d stopped at the end of the escape road. Be sporting, that was no way to win pole.

        1. Yes, they would have stayed anyways.

          1. You can’t know that. But he had zero reason to rejoin the circuit until the session concluded. 5 place grid drop. End of.

          2. Yes I can know that. There was less than 40 seconds left.

          3. Also, “end of”? What are you, 12? Come on, at least try to express yourself like a grown-up.

      2. don’t be naive, he knew Hamilton was following, he knew he was stiring the pot. Enough for a penalty?
        Not sure, but LH did get a penalty for donut’ing on track unsafe back then so don’t see why NR should not get one for attempting to join the track unsafely, that would require consistency though.

  19. If he was pushing the limit (and therefore made the mistake) he would have been even more so up against the left hand barriers, when you push the limits you are trying pinch track, Rosberg was doing the exactly opposite by giving himself much less room for movement by staying more to the middle of the road.

    1. Am I right in thinking the incident would have been shortly after knowing he was down on his first sector time? If so it would be a question of his reaction after, push harder or…?

  20. We need to see a zoomed in footage from the camera on that corner up towards the casino to see if Rosberg started to jerk with the steering wheel before over braking (pushing too hard on the brake pedal to loose control of the car). If so, it then was intended.

    But.. if he braked too hard and then started to swirl around with the steering wheel, it means that he locked the wheels into the corner.

    1. Exactly what J.Herbert is saying in this argument with A.Davidson

  21. Really not sure, doesn’t seem like Rosberg to do something like that, but he has put himself under alot of pressure trying to beat Lewis… I’ll reserve judgement for now.

  22. Rosberg knew he was 2 tenths down on first sector already, he had nothing to loose

    1. He had nothing to lose so he thought he’d try and better his previous time by taking a line that would give him _less_ chance of doing so??

      If he was trying to push harder then he would have been more over to the _left_ than normal (risking his wheel up against the left barrier) not right.

      1. It’s the reversing back onto the track that gives it away.

    2. The first sector time measurement thingy is mere meters in front of the braking zone. If he can make the decision to go off on purpose in such a short amount of time, we shouldn’t be mad, we should be impressed!


  23. Did Rosberg pull a Schumacher? Hmmm… well… the second I saw this it flashed through my mind so I would say yes.

  24. No further action- so guess it was not on purpose like most of us thought.

  25. I insist, this is just too awesome :D

  26. I am rooting for Nico. But I think he knew what he was doing (risking too much with nothing to lose) and wasn’t honest in the press conference.
    He simply didn’t go to the left before the curve, comparing to his pole lap. And him not talking to Lewis immediately also raised some eyebrows.
    Sorry to say so, but it seems Lewis might have a point this time.

  27. Sky Sports News just announced no further action will be taken against Nico Rosberg and his Pole Position stands.

  28. Of course it was deliberate. Drivers of his capability are well able to compute the consequences of their actions and acting upon them in a split second. He just made a better and less obvious job of it than his countryman Schumacher did. I certainly do not think that the team had any part in what happened and find it interesting that all the mechanics and team principals that the TV commentator spoke to also thought it was a calculated act.

  29. Hamilton is now soooo pumped up that he could ether end his race earlier with a crash or he could have the greatest win ever tomorrow. As far as Rosberg concerns his body language seamed to me like he was totally scared of another 2nd position by the way he was euphorically happy after the finish of the qualifying. Did he went off on purpose I don’t know and I don’t care as this situation fuels the fight between the two of them which could last through the rest of the season which is the only thing that matters to me. It will be epic season regardless the fact that it could be dominated by only one team.

    1. Damn, not only do we have racing and psychology experts around this parts, we also have BODY LANGUAGE experts!

      I insist, I love F1 fans on the internet.

      1. Yeah I’m crazy F1 FANatic mate :D

  30. Slightly disagree. From the onboard I saw it looked accidental, but I haven’t taken a 2nd look at it.

    And I think (I think I was the only one who drew this particular comparison prior to leaving for dinner) that Fernando Alonso was somewhere centre-stage in the race-stopping Brazillian accident that secured 3rd place for him (though not neccesarilly the champagne that comes with it) a bit earlier than MSC’s qualy drama and I think he was cleared (rightly so as far as I know). Having said that, though, I didn’t watch the race as I didn’t watchthe World Championship until 2008.

  31. I believe that it was intentional in the heat of the moment, despit thinking that rosberg isn’t the kind of guy that does that, but he’s under huge pressure from 4 straight wins from hamilton.

    But that steering wheel movement is just non-sense. That kind of corrections could hapen when the rear is stepping out, but you can see perfectly for the outside camera that the rear is not stepping out, and from onboard view it looks like those steering movements are just trying to unsetle the car or lock the wheels on purpose…

    1. “That kind of corrections could hapen when the rear is stepping out, but you can see perfectly for the outside camera that the rear is not stepping out, and from onboard view it looks like those steering movements are just trying to unsetle the car or lock the wheels on purpose…”

      Exactly, i wish more people could see this, is pretty blatant.

      1. This video is pretty clear with 2 outside cameras plus onboard

        1. Seriously?! I hadn’t seen that angle. Ridiculously clear that was deliberate.

        2. After watching that video from @oliveiraz33 I feel that Nico was doing strange things all the way down that straight approaching that corner.
          This looks really fishy to me after seeing those angles over and over again.

    2. And he was way too nervous in the post qualify interviews, with weird body language wich didn’t help. Is a shame, because I was rooting for Rosberg, since I wasn’t keen on recent Hamilton’s mind games.

    3. @oliveiraz33
      Yeah I agree with this. A lot of people are saying ‘oh he’s not that kind of driver’, but he’s desperate to break Hamilton’s run so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he took a leaf out of Schumacher’s book. All it would take is seeing his delta was off his previous lap, at that point he knows he cant beat his previous time so the only thing in his hands is stop Hamilton from improving.

  32. Nico’s celebration says it all.

    1. @jason12

      “Coward”? Does the 12 in your name stand for your age?

      1. It was cowardly. Fist bumping and all after he ruined qualifying for everyone behind him. What was he thinking? Hollow pole, no need to gloat.

  33. I don’t think there is a right answer. He knew had the banked lap and that Hamilton was behind him with no time for a second lap, so had incentive to push really hard-if he succeeds he gets pole, if he crashes he gets pole. But notice he did not crash. It is a case fierce competition and doing anything it takes to get an advantage.

  34. One word:

    Bilderberg Group.

    (If Hamilton did it; Illuminati. If Kvyatt did it; Putin. If Alonso did it; Franco. If Vettel did it; Marko. Etc.)

  35. Lewis should not worry because he knows he is faster and will make quick work of this German fool tomorrow.

  36. I don’t think it was intentional at all. But whether it’s fair that a driver can secure a pole position through a driving error is a completely different question.

  37. What’s all this about the reversing. The yellow flags would have been out whether he stayed where he was, did a 180 or indeed reversed.

    1. The point is why was Rosberg trying to reverse into on-coming traffic on hot-laps, when theres only seconds left in the session??? Whats he trying to achieve???

      Ask yourself those questions, i think the answer is pretty obvious.

      1. Exactly! Sure he was found innocent of any FIA wrong doing. But lest not forget drivers have their own unwritten rules outside the technical rules. Nico did himself no favors. Where there is smoke, there is fire. If could he an honest mistake, but you can’t deny he was making strange moves before and after the incident. Had he just ran off and accepted what had happened, he would have gave the marshalls assurance that everything was under control. He would just go to the end and park it. He did none of that and kept moving around, eventually reversing on track WHILE OTHERS WERE QUALIFYING!

  38. There could have been a possibility that Lewis was really 2.5 tenths up on his fast lap as he said in the press conference. He might have backed off before the end of the 1st sector but still set a personal best. The yellows were waving since the start of Lewis’ lap. Only he knows the deltas.

  39. Nope just an honest mistake

  40. The way he was punching the air, celebrating with a thumbs up, says everything about the man’s character. He did it on purpose.

    1. I have to agree. I think the body language and his reactions throughout all the post race looked odd. I feel really uncomfortable with Nico right now…a bit of a character questioning moment.

      Let’s say for a minute, that it was all a big mistake: I sure don’t celebrate a pole by virtue of the fact I did something that gave it to me artificially over my teammate. I expected more character from Nico if nothing else.

  41. Having seen this footage posted by oliveiraz33, it looks very clearly deliberate. Rosberg got away with this one. The fact half the grid and pundits seem to think it was dubious suggests the FIA decision is basically one of leaving Mercedes to sort out the problem internally.

    1. Completely agree, Nico has pushed the limits before running Lewis off the track in Bahrain 2012. He know he was down and Lewis was strongest in the 2nd sector making this the perfect place to stop.

    2. Yes, you can clearly tell from the off-board slow-motion youtube video what the driver was thinking, unlike the stewards with their old school telemetry, every camera shot of previous laps and incidents played at any speed and other old school “stuff”. Man, the technology available today is so amazing! Time for the FIA to finally realize this and catch up.

      1. You mean like the FIA stewards spotted the deilberate crash by Piquet Jr. at Singapore 2008?

  42. No, Rosberg is not the kind of guy to do this.
    I say that he has proven until now to be a quite fair-play sort of man.
    That Hamilton is sore and thinks about a conspiracy from his teammate is only natural at that level, and in Monaco, where everyone knows that the pole is a main factor to the victory, I believe 9/10.
    Definitely looking forward to the race, and hope that Hamilton does not do what he might have said, hence “Ayrton Senna got back at Prost, I will go by his book”.

    1. You’re forgetting Bahrain 2012 where Nico ran Lewis well off the track. Nico does have “it” in him to play dirty when the pressure is on. He’s lost 4 straight races to Lewis….and now the pressure is on. I see how he reacted and I don’t admire it.

  43. The steering wheel movements were prior to the wheel locking, they were made to unload a wheel so it would lock. A driver of his calibre would firstly not have made those movements and secondly not have left the wheel locked for that long.

    Deliberate, and done somewhere where the car was unlikely to get damaged, isn’t everyone saying Nico is the thinking driver, he certainly thought that one through.

    Suspect Lewis will be doubly annoyed partly because again the stewards have effectively penalised him in Monaco.

    The BBC website quotes Lewis as saying “I don’t know if Senna and Prost sat down and talked it out. I quite like the way Senna dealt with it, so I’m going to take a page out of his book.” I hope not for his sake.

  44. Another question could be asked.It could be…Did Rosberg back up to draw a yellow flag.
    I think he had plenty of time to figure out how to ruin Hamilton’s lap,after, his honest mistake.His grin was hard to swallow.He who laughs last came to mind.
    This is going to be a great race.Or a very short one.I hope they make it to the checkered flag.

    1. This is going to be a great race. Or a very short one.

      My thoughts :D

  45. Whether Rosberg’s actions were innocent or cynical right now does not matter. The bottom line is that now the championship has taken a more interesting turn, all the ‘we are best mates’ spin for the media has gone right out of the window.
    I am not surprised to be honest, it has been building. Rosberg’s comments in the media following Barcelona that he was faster than Hamilton despite finishing second, subtle digs at each other. Both men know that the reality is that one of them is most likely going to be this year’s world champion, such is the dominance of the Mercedes machine.
    Lewis ramped up the tone the other day by suggesting he was ‘hungrier’ for the championship than Rosberg because of his tough upbringing on the blood soaked streets of Stevenage as a kid. I never really considered Tewin, Hertfordshire to be the ghetto but then I guess after you have been living in Monaco for awhile anyone can lose touch with reality.
    It was a bold thing for Hamilton to say, and it was bound to get a response from Rosberg. We have been here before at this very grands prix seven years ago, during Hamilton’s debut F1 season. The implication in the media that Lewis had been ordered by McLaren to hold second place so as team mate Fernando Alonso could win, was the first public indication that not all was well within the team. More was to follow with the now infamous events in Hungary which pretty much destroyed Alonso’s relationship with McLaren.
    This is a big test now for Mercedes in how they handle this situation, as have McLaren in the past and more recently Red Bull. The gloves have, as they were always going to, have come off. We could be in for one of the best races in years tomorrow, then again, we could end up with a big pile of flaming carbon fibre down at turn one. I can’t wait.

  46. One thing is i did not notice any kind of the usual celebrations for this pole at the mercedes garage or pitwall…. i think they were abit unsure how to react ….its only Roseburg who gave an interesting grin and a somewhat funny happy celebratiion.

  47. OK, let’s pot the cynicism aside for a minute. Nico drove very aggressively and went right up to the edge…and over it. Why? Because he had nothing to lose. If he drives a faster lap: he’s on pole. If he wrecks, he’s either gets a yellow which stops Lewis or if somehow Lewis still gets by whatever mess he causes then he’s still in the front row.

    Those are simply the circumstances of where Nico was and he drove accordingly. Then got out and celebrated like he’d cleanly earned it. Perhaps he feels that way. Good for him. (Interesting note: When Sky was walking up and down the paddock asking the “team bosses” off the record if Nico did it intentionally, the answer was a unanimous “YES”)

    Now, the shoe is on the other foot. Let’s look at Lewis’ position for tomorrow: He’s leading the WDC, he feels Nico cost him a chance at poll whether intentional or not and he’s not happy. So where does he stand to win or lose?
    He’s leading the WDC. Merc has a wide margin over any other team in terms of points…and pace for future races. So….If he goes like a wild man into turn 1 tomorrow either he passes Nico and takes the lead or he wrecks himself and Nico in a “racing incident”. He most likely takes out one or both of the RBRs who are right behind them and have no where to go.

    The outcome: Lewis leaves Monte Carlo leading the WDC and Merc gives up a few points in their lead of the constructors championship which they’ll win easily anyway.

    So if Lewis, who we know is very mad right now, is half as aggressive as we all think he is….he leaves Monaco with the lead in the WDC, one way or another. I’m giving it an 80% chance that Lewis is still in the lead tomorrow night with either 100 points or 125 points. Nico will have either 97 points or 115 points.

    Why not, Lewis has nothing to lose at this point just as Nico had nothing to lose in Q3 this morning. And Lewis is mad.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      25th May 2014, 0:42

      @daved – Tomorrow is going to be epic. I’m not sure he’ll chuck it up the inside at turn one at the start because there’s a chance Rosberg could retire or Hamilton could pass him later on but I can absolutely guarantee that Hamilton will certainly try and put a move on him at some stage in the race. As you say, it doesn’t really matter to Hamilton if it works or not…

      I’m so happy Rosberg didn’t get a penalty because it would rob us of what will potentially be one of the great Monaco races tomorrow. I can’t wait to see what happens between the two!

      1. I hope you’re right and Lewis decides to just go for a good, aggressive, Bahrain style race and they give us a great show. But I worry that the lead on Turn 1 is SO important in Monaco that Lewis will feel like Turn 1 at the start is his best chance to get in front and stay there. There are just so few places to actually attempt a clean pass in Monaco.

  48. The more I see the footage, the more I am convinced Nico was trying to do just that – yellow flags out without hurting the car.

  49. I think that Rosberg didn’t make the mistake intentionally. So I strongly disagree.
    I think that Rosberg had every right to celebrate his pole position since he outpaced Hamilton on the first run, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I think Hamilton should learn to be positive, It’s a long season, he’s got the car and the pace to win the title.

    1. Lewis has been the fastest in the second sector all weekend. He’d already beat Nico in the first sector and was on his way to poll. I don’t see why Lewis should be “nice” about it.

  50. petebaldwin (@)
    25th May 2014, 0:37

    Which part of it?
    Did he deliberately go off track? No.
    Did he deliberately reverse back onto the track knowing it would guarantee him pole? Yes.
    Would Lewis have done the same? Yes!
    Did he show terrible sportsmanship by celebrating at the end? Yes….
    Would Lewis have done that? yes……..

    1. @petebaldwin
      Did he deliberately go off-track? Debatable. Just because the stewards have deeemed no foul play, doesn’t mean that their verdict is indisputable. With all that technology they’ve got at their disposal, they’ve still made some fairly idiotic conclusions in the past. For all we know, this is one that they’ve mistaken.
      Did he deliberately reverse back onto the track knowing it would guarantee him pole? Again, debatable. We can’t know for sure. Perhaps he did, perhaps he didn’t. Surely pole was already clinched by that point, as the yellow flags would have remained out until his car was removed altogether.
      Would Lewis have done the same? We just don’t know that for sure. Apart from Aus 09 — and that wasn’t done entirely of his own volition — Lewis hasn’t really demonstrated that he’s prepared to cheat to get ahead.
      Did he show terrible sportsmanship by celebrating at the end? Yes, on this one we agree. But it’s no surprise, as he’s done it before. Silverstone last year was a prime example. He only won that race because two competitors dropped out ahead of him due to mechanical failures, one of which was his team mate who had had the measure of him up to that point, but he still celebrated as though he’s just won the race of his life and demolished the competition.
      Would Lewis have done that? No. Lewis has stated and demonstrated quite a few times that he doesn’t enjoy hollow victories. When he inherited a podium from an ailing Vettel in Bahrain 2010, he remarked that it didn’t bring him much satisfaction passing Vettel because he was hindered by his spark plug failure. He also didn’t celebrate his win in Turkey 2010, partly because of the situation between him and Jenson, but also, as he alluded to, because he only won thanks to the collision between the two Red Bulls.

  51. Regardless of whether it was deliberate, it hardly buttresses Keke Jr’s claim to be an equal talent to take pole solely by virtue of preventing his nemesis from finishing his final hot lap.

  52. I don’t think he did it deliberately, but the reversing caused the yellow flags. He should have waited until after the session.

  53. Interesting to note how the voting changed after the stewards’ verdict had been announced. Shortly after the verdict the difference between the ‘agrees’ and ‘disagrees’ was a lot narrower:


    27th May 2014, 16:58

    Any self-respecting honest driver would be horrified to be accused of cheating and deliberately causing his team mate to suffer. As a consequence, I would expect outrage at the accusation and a strenuous defense. But instead, all we get is that smug smile from Rosberg… me thinks the man doth not protest enough!

    1. Methinks that since he is innocent, the smug smile was from knowing the truth all along, perhaps knowing he was lucky they threw the yellow because he immediately thought he had ruined things for himself, and perhaps because LH cranked his boost in the previous race and this became a bit of unintentional evening up of things.

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