Nico Rosberg remained confident that he could claim a third straight Monaco Grand Prix pole position - right to the point where a lock-up sent him down the Ste Devote escape road....

The German had emerged as the man to beat through the first two phases of qualifying in the Principality, eclipsing Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton after the Briton had dominated on day one, but slipped back to P2 after the initial runs in Q3. The gap, however, was just a tenth of a second and, knowing that he wanted to adjust the set-up of his W06 Hybrid, Rosberg returned to the track in optimistic mood

His confidence lasted until the first corner of his timed lap, when the repeat of a locked tyre late in Q2 saw the Silver Arrow skate towards the run-off area. Aware that he had no chance of posting an improved time, Rosberg radioed his crew to tell them he was aborting the lap, effectively handing pole to Hamilton.

Related Articles

"I didn't really see [the gap] to be too much of a problem because it was very close and I was confident that I could improve on my lap time and change my balance as I had too much understeer," he explained, "I went up on the front flap by a good step and was confident that it was going to come my way - but then it didn't!"

Another pole position would have set Rosberg up for a crack at the rare feat of winning three successive Monaco grands prix and, while his hopes have not been entirely dashed with 70+ laps to negotiate on Sunday, the German acknowledges that his team-mate is in good form this weekend.

"[My session] was probably a bit the opposite to Lewis', as I had a good rhythm starting off qualifying - which I didn't have all weekend," he reflected, "It was good to get into it in qualifying, but then I just lost touch a little bit towards the end. I was going for it because I had to because I knew Lewis was going to be quick, but it didn't work out. That's it."