Nico Rosberg has retained pole position for tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix after an investigation by stewards ‘found no evidence of wrongdoing’ when the German locked up and ran wide at Mirabeau, causing yellow flags that meant team-mate Lewis Hamilton did not have the chance to improve his own time.
Rosberg was quicker than Hamilton after their first runs and remained so through the first sector of the second attempt; however, he slid down the escape road at Mirabeau after locking up and Hamilton, who had set a personal best but was still not assured of going faster than the German, had to slow to respect the yellow flags.
Hamilton was apparently sulking in parc ferme afterwards, and even said to journalists he was now ‘taking a leaf out of Senna’s book’ in the way he approaches his erstwhile friend. The incident is the latest in a long line of confrontations Hamilton has had with team-mates; in 2007 he fell out with Fernando Alonso at McLaren, before proceeding to publish telemetry details of Jenson Button’s laptimes at Spa in 2012 on Twitter. After accusing his fellow Brit of ‘disrespecting’ him for unfollowing him on Twitter, Hamilton was forced to retract his statement after it emerged Button had never followed him in the first place. Now war with Rosberg seems on the cards, a shock to most as the two have enjoyed a close relationship going back to their karting days before this weekend; although things got heated at last month’s Bahrain Grand Prix when Hamilton made an aggressive and questionable ‘chop’ across the front of his team-mate’s car when they were fighting for the lead.
On Wednesday, Hamilton claimed he was ‘hungrier’ than Rosberg to win this season, and made references to his team-mate’s upbringing in Monaco; a move some have interpreted as a personal attack on the German by the embittered Englishman.
Hamilton currently leads the world driver’s standings by three points from Rosberg.