sport

Rosberg under investigation

Nico Rosberg is under investigation by the Monaco GP stewards after an incident in qualifying that affected Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

On provisional pole position by just 0.059secs from Hamilton after the opening laps in the final qualifying period, Rosberg locked up on the entry to Mirabeau on his second and final attempt, and was forced to take the escape road.

Behind the German, Hamilton was on a quicker lap, but with yellow flags being shown by the marshals due to Rosberg's incident, the championship leader had to abort a lap he has since claimed would have secured him pole.

The stewards will now look to see if there is any indication Rosberg's apparent error was deliberate, which in turn scuppered Hamilton's shot at pole.

They will be able to access all telemetry and data from Rosberg's car, in particular with regard to the 28-year-old's braking point compared to his previous laps during qualifying.

It is reminiscent of the infamous 2006 incident in Monaco when seven-times champion Michael Schumacher was found guilty by the stewards of deliberately crashing his Ferrari at La Rascasse.

Like Rosberg, Schumacher was on provisional pole that day, but behind him championship rival Fernando Alonso in his Renault was quicker and poised to beat the German, but like Hamilton was forced to abort.

It resulted in Schumacher's times being deleted, and subsequently he was demoted to the back of the grid.

If the stewards similarly find Rosberg guilty of any wrongdoing, he will also be stripped of what is currently the sixth pole of his career, and second in a row at Monaco after he pipped Hamilton to top spot on the grid last year.

Whilst Rosberg was naturally delighted, punching the air as he stepped from the cockpit of his car, Hamilton had a face like thunder.

It is yet more grist to the mill in the team battle that is unfolding between the pair this season, with just three points separating them in the championship standings.