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Rosberg-gate

NEWS STORY
24/05/2014

By the time Nico Rosberg had returned to the pitlane debate was already raging. Was his mistake at Mirabeau in the dying seconds of qualifying as simple as it appeared, or was there something more sinister at work?

In easily the most competitive car on the grid, Rosberg is in a championship battle with teammate Lewis Hamilton. They proclaim to be friends but in competition there have been moments when that friendship has been sorely tested.

Hamilton is an emotive driver. When things are going well he is unbeatable but tends to wear his heart on his sleeve which at times makes him vulnerable. Rosberg is far more calculating, considered and very nearly as quick.

It was therefore unsurprising that Hamilton was disillusioned after qualifying. He felt he was on a pole winning lap, only for that to be taken away by a yellow flag caused by his teammate, who was provisionally fastest at the time. However what it does not account for is the remaining two sectors of the lap – Hamilton is assuming he would have bettered Rosberg's time. He might have, and the Briton will absolutely believe in himself that it would have, but it didn't happen.

Hamilton's disappointment was lapped up by television interviewers who immediately asked whether he felt his friend's mistake was as innocent as it looked. It was a loaded question designed to extract a reaction. It was not fair on Hamilton and it was not fair on Rosberg.

Rosberg maintains it was a simple mistake. He braked too late, locked a wheel and was forced up the escape road to avoid hitting the barriers. It is what the escape roads are for. Had it been Daniel Ricciardo or Fernando Alonso making that mistake and causing the yellow flag there would be no discussion.

Perhaps it was a little naughty to start reversing out but he is entitled to return to the circuit so long as he does so in a safe manner. Marcus Ericsson ran off at Ste Devote in final practice and forced Rosberg to take avoiding action as the Swede backed out almost on to the racing line. If nothing came of that incident there was no reason to expect a different outcome for the German in qualifying.

Thankfully the stewards agreed that it was a simple mistake and nothing more sinister, though the unfortunate fact is that by investigating they've added fuel to a fire which should never have been lit.

Check out our Saturday gallery, here.

Mat Coch

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by stoney, 25/05/2014 12:53

"The self-proclaimed role model really needs to have a can of ManUp and get on with it."

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