Nico Rosberg Under Investigation for Monaco Qualifying Crash

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2014

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 24:  Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP celebrates after securing pole position during qualifying ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 24, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Updates from Saturday, May 24

Eurosport reports the latest on Rosberg:

Original Text

Nico Rosberg captured the all-important Monaco Grand Prix pole Saturday, but the manner in which he did it has Formula One officials wondering if foul play was involved.

According to Pete Gill of Sky Sports, Rosberg is under investigation after causing a caution near the end of Monaco qualifying. Rosberg went down an escape road after missing his braking point and then went back on the track.

Lewis Hamilton seemed likely to surpass Rosberg and secure the pole himself, but his run was halted, and Rosberg was awarded the pole instead.

Despite accusations that Rosberg deliberately miscued, he claims that it was an honest mistake.

"It will be clear in the data," Rosberg said. "I just braked a little later and locked up. It wasn't the way I wanted to go, it definitely takes away some of the pleasure, but in the end first is first and so I'm very happy about it."

The pole is significant for several reasons. Firstly, Rosberg is three points behind Hamilton in the standings, so this gives him a leg up. Also, per Gill, Monaco has been won by the pole sitter in nine of the past 10 years.

Nobody knows for sure whether or not Rosberg intentionally sabotaged the qualifying run, but it has led to plenty of speculation on social media.

NBC Sports F1 analyst Luke Smith was among many who cracked a joke regarding the bizarre situation:

There is no doubt that the mistake worked in Rosberg's favor, so he will continue to be scrutinized even if it wasn't a calculated decision.

With that said, perhaps this situation will cause F1 officials to consider qualifying rules changes that will prevent something like this from ever happening again.

The perception is that Rosberg was rewarded for messing up, while Hamilton was penalized for running clean laps.

Rosberg got the upper hand this time, but Formula One must use this as a learning experience moving forward.


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