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Pole for Rosberg

May 24, 2014

Nico Rosberg has taken pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix. It is his second pole of the season and the sixth of his career - but the success came at Lewis Hamilton's cost.

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany reacts after taking the pole position during the qualifying session of the Monaco Grand Prix in Monaco May 24, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi
Image: Reuters

The 28-year-old German Mercedes driver took pole ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, who leads Rosberg in the overall standings by three points.

Rosberg's success was, however, a rather bitter one for Hamilton, after the German driver lost control under braking for the Mirabeau turn and slid down an escape road. Rosberg's stopped car automatically triggered a yellow flag, forcing other drivers to slow on their final attempt to set a faster time than Rosberg's. Hamilton was among the runners behind Rosberg on the track, all of whom had to tip-toe through Mirabeau, losing time.

The incident harkened back to the 2006 Monaco qualifying session, when Michael Schumacher was similarly set for pole with seconds left in the session. Schumacher parked his fully-functioning car at one of the narrowest points on the track, preventing those behind from trumping his time.

Hamilton appeared upset with his teammate after the session; the stewards investigated the incident but did not punish Rosberg. Mercedes GP's executive director Toto Wolff said he did not believe that Rosberg had intentionally lost control of the car. The entrance to Mirabeau is a notoriously difficult and bumpy braking zone on Monaco's twisty streets.

Hamilton has four pole positions this season to Rosberg's two and has won the past four consecutive Grands Prix.

Rosberg now has a good chance to repeat his 2013 victory in Sunday's race.

The two Mercedes drivers will start the race ahead of the two Red Bulls with Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualifying ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, four-time defending champion.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was fifth.

tj,msh/lw (AFP, AP)

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