Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has hit out at Lewis Hamilton following qualifying for the European Grand Prix.
Rosberg ended up sixth on the grid following the top-ten shootout in Valencia, but felt he could have been better placed had he not been blocked by the McLaren driver going into the last corner on his second run. Rosberg eventually aborted the lap.
“We had a lot of potential going into qualifying, but unfortunately I can't be happy with the outcome today,” Rosberg said. “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.
“We know it's tricky in the last sector here and there is an agreement in place to stop things like this happening so it's frustrating.”
Mercedes boss Norbert Haug meanwhile felt that Hamilton had cost Rosberg a place on the front-row.
“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. As his times in Q2 and Q3 proved, it is clear that Nico would have had a shot at the front row of the grid without this handicap,” Haug commented.
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn agreed that traffic had spoilt Rosberg's final run.
“Nico had a smooth session, was consistently among the top three and looking good going into Q3. He was quickest on his first run, and had a brand new set of tyres available for his final effort, as the circuit was also picking up pace. However, he found himself sandwiched between Hamilton in front and [Pastor] Maldonado behind, badly compromising his lap, which he eventually aborted,” Brawn added.
Hamilton was later summoned to appear before the stewards over allegations he slowed unnecessarily in the final corner, but was cleared of any wrong doing [see separate story - HERE