Nico Rosberg says he can easily prove he did not deliberately cause a yellow flag during qualifying at Monaco to take pole position.
Rosberg is under investigation by the stewards after going off at Mirabeau on his last lap during Q3. That brought out the yellow flags, which meant team mate Lewis Hamilton was unable to beat his time.
The incident drew comparisons with Michael Schumacher parking his car at Rascasse during qualifying in 2006 in a bid to secure pole. Schumacher was judged to have done so deliberately and was sent to the back of the grid.
Rosberg told reporters after qualifying he had not done the same: “It’s easy for me to show that because it will be clear in the data that nothing’s majorly different from the lap before,” he said.
“I just braked that little bit late and deep and locked up and that’s it.”
Rosberg said he apologised to Hamilton because his error spoiled his team mate’s lap.
“Of course it’s not the way I want it to go,” he said . “I honestly thought that it was over when I went off the road so that definitely takes away some of the pleasure of it.”
“But in the end you know first is first so I’m still very happy about it.”
Rosberg said he was risking everything on his final run because he expected Hamilton to improve.
“My first lap, I really nailed that one, I was on it. I had a mega banker and I just needed to go for it because I knew Lewis was going to be close, track improving ever so slightly so I just had to go for it and I just exaggerated a little bit, unfortunately”.
“I think in Monaco the most important thing is starting from pole and I managed to do that so that’s the most important and I think the best position to be in for the race tomorrow,” he added.
“It’s still going to be a very tough race: really long, and also with tyres. And starts have been our weakness also as a team so we definitely need to concentrate and get that right and see how it goes.”
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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei