Mercedes GP Petronas team principal Ross Brawn has revealed that the Brackley-based squad was probably responsible for the below-par qualifying positions achieved by its drivers ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.
While both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher expressed frustration with their respective sessions, and the younger German felt obliged to apologise to his seven-time champion team-mate for getting in his way early in the decisive shoot-out, Brawn admitted that the 'moment' had been the result of a problem in the pit-lane rather than bad driving by the team's chief point-scorer.
"I feel extremely frustrated about today because we had a good car all weekend and, as a team, we didn't perform well in Q3," Brawn told Reuters
, "The last thing we wanted was to have our two cars on the same piece of track, [and] the plan was to split them, but, when we came to release Nico's car, we had a problem [and] it left the garage 20 or 30 seconds later than we planned.
"So then we had both cars together and Nico was getting squeezed. I think Michael was annoyed after the second or third lap [but], when I explained to him what happened he was okay - just frustrated. We cocked up."
On a day where traffic problems had been expected to ruin more than the occasional lap in qualifying, Schumacher had told television reporters that the incident with Rosberg, when there were only ten cars on track, was the only hindrance he had suffered.
"I have to say, from my perspective, that all of our colleagues drove very fairly," the 41-year old commented, "The only car that blocked me was my team-mate - it's a shame, but there you go. I don't think it would have been my quickest lap time, but it would have been a banker and that was my aim - to put a banker in and then go full attack for the last lap."