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Whiting has way to end quali disputes

2014-05-28 11:22

NO LONGER MATES: Lewis Hamilton (left) poses with team mate Nico Rosberg (right), winner of the 2014 Monaco GP, after a controversial qualifying session in Monaco. Image: AP/Luca Bruno

LONDON, England - Charlie Whiting, Formula 1's race director, wants to prevent a repeat of the 2014 Monaco qualifying  dispute over whether Nico Rosberg stymied Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton's final qualifying lap.

And he has a suggestion of how to do it...

Whiting asked: "Why not extend qualifying by one minute if a yellow flag is shown in the last three minutes? That would give affected drivers a chance to try again."


The Mercedes duo have fallen out since Hamilton accused Rosberg of making a deliberate mistake in the dying minutes of their fight for pole in Monaco.

The International Automobile Federation looked into whether Rosberg triggered the yellow flags on purpose to ruin Hamilton's run for pole  but found no evidence of a foul.

Many, including Monaco steward Derek Warwick, found it hard to believe Rosberg would "do a Schumacher" (see below). "I know there are conspiracy theories," he told the London Daily Mail, "but you will not find a more honest driver in GP racing than Nico."

Even so, the federation investigation lasted for several hours, and Warwick said: "It was not black and white. It took a long time. We wanted to be sure and thorough. I've been around a long time and seen people try to pull the wool over my eyes.

"Did I have doubts? Of course I did - but he gave me the answers I needed."


Hamilton, however, said he saw data that convinced him Rosberg acted maliciously but investigators were not convince and concluded from detailed telemetry, that Rosberg braked only 10m later than he had on his pole lap and was travelling only six km/h faster.

Whiting said: "Both Mercedes drivers braked eight metres later at Ste Devote than they had before.  They were just going flat out."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff commented: "We will never know if Nico acted deliberately or not but we give him absolutely 100% the presumption of innocence.

"When you are pushing to the maximum, mistakes can happen."


In 2006 Michael Schumacher was stripped of pole position  after Monaco GP stewards decided that he had stopped deliberately after running wide at the Rascasse corner in his Ferrari, blocking part of the circuit while Fernando Alonso was on his qualifying lap.

Despite starting the 2006 Monaco GP from the back of the grid, Schumacher managed to work his way up to fifth on the notoriously cramped circuit. That stewards' inquiry lasted eight hours.

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