Nico Rosberg takes Monaco GP pole in controversial circumstances
Nico Rosberg took his second straight pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix after beating Lewis Hamilton in yesterday’s qualifying session at the Principality by just 0.059 seconds.
Hamilton had the edge over Rosberg in all the dry practice sessions at Monaco, putting the latter on the backfoot. However, Rosberg fought back in qualifying, taking provisional pole after first round of running in Q3.
The second run didn’t go as planned, with the German overshooting the Mirabeau corner and being forced to take the escape road. Yellow flags were consequently waved at this section of the track. Hamilton, who was a few hundred metres down the road at that time, fell prey to these yellow flags, having to slow down his car during his final flying lap. With no improvements from either of the drivers, Rosberg took pole position on the basis of lap times set during the first run.
While this whole incident turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the the 28-year-old, it didn’t seem intentional by any stretch of the imagination. The only downside of the incident was that the fans missed out on a close two-horse battle for top spot on the grid.
Behind the Mercedes duo came the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo who again out-qualified his teammate Sebastian Vettel, with Ricciardo posting a lap-time of 1:16.384 and the latter circulating the track in 1:16.547 to take fourth.
The third row of the grid will be shared by the scarlet red Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. However, unlike the Red Bull pair, the margin between the Ferrari drivers was a mighty seven tenths.
Both the Toro Rossos made it to the top 10 with the experienced Jean Eric Vergne qualifying his STR9 in seventh place and the rookie Daniil Kvyat posting a laptime that was good enough for ninth. Kevin Magnussen, the sole McLaren runner in Q3, was sandwiched between the Toro Rosso pair in eighth place.
Sergio Perez came on top in in the intra-team battle at Force India with the Mexican qualifying in 10th place and Nico Hulkenberg just missing Q3 in 11th.
It was another disappointing session for 2009 Monaco winner Jenson Button, who couldn’t make the cut to Q3 unlike his teammate Kevin Magnussen. He starts the race from 12th. Williams, who enjoyed varying degrees of success with their two drivers in Spain a fortnight ago, were forced to languish in 13th and 16th places in today's qualifying session at Monaco.
Romain Grosjean, who was looking to display the improved pace of Lotus E22, could only qualify in 15th place. Pastor Maldonado in the other Lotus will start alongside him in 16th.
Q1 showed a clear picture of the pecking order at rear of the grid with the two Saubers joining backmarkers Marussia and Caterham. The Branbury squad again had the edge over their ‘historic rivals’ Caterham.