25 May 2014

Rosberg secures controversial Monaco pole

7:09 am on 25 May 2014

Germany's Nico Rosberg took a controversial pole position at Formula One's Monaco Grand Prix after an incident that denied unhappy Mercedes team mate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton the chance to beat him.

Formula One stewards summoned Mercedes to a hearing afterwards but, after reviewing video evidence, decided no offence had been committed.

The German had locked-up on the way into Mirabeau during the key final seconds of qualifying and skidded down the escape road, bringing out yellow warning flags that forced other drivers to slow.

The excursion, with Rosberg then putting the car into reverse, came just as Hamilton - behind him on the track - was on his final quick lap.

Hamilton, winner of the last four races but never before on pole in the principality, had been faster through the first sector but had to settle for second place on the grid for the season's showcase race.

Hamilton, a forced smile on his face at the post-qualifying news conference, said it was 'ironic' for his rival to secure pole in such a fashion.

Speaking later to the BBC, the Briton went further.

Asked whether he felt Rosberg had done it on purpose, he replied: 'potentially'.

However, Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff rejected that: "I don't think anybody does that deliberately in modern Formula One," he told reporters.