Rosberg benefits from moment at Mirabeau for pole

2014 Monaco Grand Prix qualifying

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Monte-Carlo, 2014Nico Rosberg claimed a contentious pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix after appearing to benefit from his own mistake during Q3.

Rosberg set the quickest time at the beginning of Q3 but then went off during his final run, which caused the yellow flags to come out, meaning Lewis Hamilton was unable to improve his time and had to settle for second place.

It drew immediate comparisons with Michael Schumacher’s actions in 2006, when he deliberately stopped his Ferrari at Rascasse in an attempt to prevent Fernando Alonso from taking pole position.

Q1

The build-up to qualifying had seen remarkably few incidents on the track, even when rain fell on Thursday’s second practice session. But the pressures of qualifying produced the first significant mistakes of the weekend.

The first befell Daniil Kvyat, who is competing at Monaco for the first time. The Toro Rosso driver spun on the drop down towards the harbour chicane and knocked his front wing off against the barrier on the right.

Kvyat managed to secure a place in Q2 after having the damaged wing replaced. But Marcus Ericsson wasn’t so lucky.

He was attempting to move up from last in the running order when he came across Felipe Massa at Mirabeau. The Williams driver moved to let him through but Ericsson lost his car under braking and the pair made contact, running gently into the barrier.

Massa’s misfortune meant that although he’d lapped quick enough to get into Q2 he was unable to take part in it. And several drivers who might have bettered their times and made it through – such as Adrian Sutil – missed the chance.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.741
18 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.745
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’19.332
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’19.928
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’20.133
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’21.732

Q2

Q2 began the same way Q1 had – with the two Mercedes drivers sat at the pit lane exit, waiting for the light to turn green.

The pair traded fastest sectors and fastest lap times throughout the session. Rosberg headed the times initially but on their final efforts Hamilton moved ahead by a tenth of a second with a 1’16.354.

The Red Bull drivers couldn’t match that pace. Vettel was third-fastest, seven-tenths of a second slower, despite his MGU-K malfunctioning early in the session.

With Massa left on the sidelines, the other Williams didn’t fare much better. Valtteri Bottas only outpaced the two Lotus drivers to move him ahead of his team mate.

Kvyat made amends for his mistake in Q1 by gaining a place in the final ten. Team mate Jean-Eric Vergne joined him.

But only one of the Force Indias made it through. Nico Hulkenberg missed the cut by less than a tenth of a second, knocked out by team mate Sergio Perez, having struggled with tyre locking at the chicane.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’17.846
12 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.988
13 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’18.082
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’18.196
15 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’18.356
16 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes

Q3

Pole position was decided in unusual circumstances, if not entirely unfamiliar ones for Monaco. Rosberg dipped under the 1’16 barrier with his first flying lap, and Hamilton fell short of his mark by less than six hundredths of a second.

That was the lap time that won pole position for Rosberg, but the moment he won it came on his next flying lap. Heading towards Mirabeau, having made a scruffy start to his lap and with Hamilton not far behind, Rosberg failed to get his car turned in at Mirabeau and dived into the escape road. The yellow flags came out immediately and Hamilton, arriving on the scene moments afterwards, had to back off and surrender his last chance of getting pole position.

Not everyone had to abort their final runs. Daniel Ricciardo claimed third ahead of Vettel, who was still working around his MGU-K problem.

The Ferrari pair were next, Fernando Alonso over seven tenths of a second quicker than Kimi Raikkonen.

But the focus after qualifying was inevitably on the escalating rivalry between the Mercedes drivers – and whether Rosberg’s mistake was really all it had seemed to be.

Top ten in Q3

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’15.989
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’16.048
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’16.384
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’16.547
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.686
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’17.389
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’17.540
8 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.555
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’18.090
10 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’18.327

2014 Monaco Grand Prix

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69 comments on Rosberg benefits from moment at Mirabeau for pole

  1. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 24th May 2014, 15:10

    Turning away from hotly debated topic, I would like to note some billiant performances from several drivers.

    Ricciardo once again outqualified Vettel, though I don’t know whether Vettel still had his ERS issues in Q3. But his lap in Q2, when he had issues, was mega. Race director showed the whole lap and, at least for me, it seemed like on the very edge. Of course, Brundle’s commentary made it even more dramatic.

    Alonso destroyed Raikkonen, but I guess, it was more related to that Raikkonen’s first lap was on old tyres, whilst Alonso had extra set of tyres, because of saving it earlier. And later Raikkonen couldn’t improve on his time, because of yellow flags.

    Kvyat really impressed me. He hadn’t driven in MOnaco before this weekend, but looked at least a match for Vergne during whole Saturday.

    The big question for the race, though, is whether Rosberg will get a penalty. If he does, we must be prepared for very long and boring race (unless some crashes).

  2. tmax (@tmax) said on 24th May 2014, 15:45

    All I can say now is that my respect for Vettel and Webber has increased all the more now. While there were so many incidents they managed it decently well (relatively) compared to these guys who just after 5 races are into a big shunt. More over they claim themselves to be childhood friends !!!!

    I also felt it was a truly a cheap shot of Lewis to use his childhood poverty and Nico’s luxurious upbringing to play mind games. On top of that Hamilton’s whining all through the Spansih GP makes me feel that he too is a political junkie. I had supported Lewis side of the story on the 2007 Alonso incidents. But now after watching 5 races and Lewis attitude I feel Alonso has a point there.

    Anyway swinging back to the topic. There is only one camera view that I have seen so far of the Nico’s incident. That one is from Nico’s cockpit. I hope they show another camera angle from outside the car which gives a better idea of what just happened. But yeah, given how things went down with Michael in 2006 I don’t think Nico would be foolish to try that once again here. Especially Nico being more mature and level headed of the 2. But who knows what adrenalin and competitive pressures can do to a person !!!!!!

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 24th May 2014, 16:02

      All I can say now is that my respect for Vettel and Webber has increased all the more now. While there were so many incidents they managed it decently well (relatively) compared to these guys who just after 5 races are into a big shunt.

      It’s convenient to ignore Multi-21 and Turkey 2010 isn’t it?

      • tmax (@tmax) said on 24th May 2014, 19:29

        @raceprouk Dave I am not saying that I am ignoring. I agree that their 5 years together was fireworks but they did not claim they were friends et all. It is just 5 races and we are feeling that we are seeing what we have seen in their 5 years. If they race for 5 years together like this it might be a book by itself.

        Especially given that Hamilton has the habit/tendency of playing the victim card. He had used that card very effectively. Sympathy seeking image !!!! Oh I was a poor Guy So I want to win more races et all… What a shame…. I still cam believe he said that !!!!

  3. Jonathan Sarginson said on 24th May 2014, 18:15

    If I were Christian Horner, I might just ask my boys to back off a little at the start for when Lewis does a Senna on Nico…

  4. Mark in Florida said on 24th May 2014, 22:36

    Nico didn’t try to cause a yellow flag. His right front tire was locking up going into the turn. He was just pushing it too deep and understeered it. It was either hit the barrier or turn into the runoff. People are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  5. Tega Enajekpo said on 24th May 2014, 22:42

    Rosberg is more hungrier than hamilton because he didn’t eat breakfast.

  6. greg-c (@greg-c) said on 25th May 2014, 2:32

    I can see these 2 mercs coming together in the race,

  7. Amsterdaz said on 28th May 2014, 8:46

    If a driver holds up another driver who is on a fast qualifying lap, then a penalty is given. Why shouldn’t the same penalty be given when a driver causes yellow flags? I don’t see the difference. This would end gamesmanship, which we know has happened in the past. in Monaco Rosberg affected Hamilton and others. I don’t believe he did it deliberately, but that is besides the point. Time for a rule change.

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