Mercedes unhappy with Hamilton
Team claim McLaren driver slowed Rosberg's final Q3 lap
Last Updated: June 23, 2012 5:53pm
Nico Rosberg: Felt he could have been much higher up
The Mercedes team have voiced their frustration with Lewis Hamilton after claiming the McLaren driver badly compromised Nico Rosberg's final Qualifying lap in Valencia.
Rosberg had appeared to be in contention for his second pole of the season after finishing a close second to Lotus's Romain Grosjean in Q2 and then setting the pace at the start of Q3 at the end of his first run on a used set of tyres.
But the German driver ultimately slipped to a disappointing sixth place after abandoning his final effort on new tyres in wake of starting the lap right behind Hamilton's McLaren, with the Williams of Pastor Maldonado directly behind.
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A disappointed Rosberg afterwards questioned Hamilton's respect of the rules after the McLaren driver slowed down in the final corner of his out lap to give himself some space for a lap which ultimately took him onto the front row.
"We had a lot of potential going into qualifying, but unfortunately I can't be happy with the outcome today," Rosberg complained.
"We were quick throughout but when I was just about to start my final lap, Lewis was slowing down in the last corner. I had to start my quick lap behind him which made it impossible to improve my time."
While Team Principal Ross Brawn added that Hamilton's actions ended up "badly compromising his [Rosberg's] lap", Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug was equally unimpressed with Hamilton: "While Nico's first run in Q3 put him P1, his second ended in traffic as he caught a car in the final sector where you are not allowed to slow down."
With Michael Schumacher missing the cut for Q3 altogether, Mercedes face a tough challenge to finish on the podium on Sunday and Rosberg added: "It will be an interesting race tomorrow from a strategy perspective, and I hope there will be the opportunity to make up some places."