Hamilton body language leaves little room for doubt as Rosberg keeps his pole
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 May 2014   |  5:02 pm GMT  |  458 comments

Lewis Hamilton’s body language after qualifying left little room for doubt that he suspects team mate Nico Rosberg may have deliberately messed up his final lap to stop Hamilton from taking pole.

However, the FIA Stewards disagreed. After reviewing the evidence they decided that there was no case to answer and no further action. Thus, Rosberg keeps his pole position.

Hamilton said that he was over 2/10ths of a second up on the German, when the incident happened at Mirabeau corner. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live Hamilton compared the situation to the feud between Senna and Prost in the late 1980s and said: “I like the way Senna dealt with it. I think I’ll take a leaf out of Senna’s book.”

Asked by this website if he felt that this would change the dynamic between him and Rosberg from now on he replied, “potentially”.

Hamilton clearly felt there was something fishy about the way that Rosberg, over two tenths down on Hamilton at that point in the lap, went straight on at Mirabeau and then reversed onto the track, bringing out yellow flags. As one of the cars behind Rosberg on circuit, he was vulnerable to this happening and his lap was blown.

“I’m going to turn this to my advantage,” he pledged, speaking in the media pen after the session. Raising doubts about Rosberg’s integrity here, is certainly one way to use mind games to turn things to his advantage.

This certainly seems to be the tactic, whatever may be decided by the FIA Stewards. The precedent remains so strong in the mind from a previous incident of this kind.

Back in 2006, Michael Schumacher’s crash into the barriers at Rascasse aroused immediate suspicion – Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber were both on target to beat his pole time at that point. And the FIA stewards duly found that he had done it on purpose and demoted him to the back of the grid. This episode was dubbed ‘Crashgate’, however Schumacher never gave any insight into that episode nor admitted any deliberate action.

Ironically, the most vociferous critic of Schumacher that day was Rosberg’s father Keke, who was very outspoken and negative about the seven times champion in comments that shocked Schumacher and Ferrari.

This one is more finely balanced, with some pundits like Damon Hill certain that Rosberg did not do it deliberately, while others are suspicious. There is no prevailing view on this one in the F1 paddock.

The matter went before the FIA stewards, who have better tools and equipment to measure and compare to previous laps and to analyse than back in 2006 and certainly better than any outsider or media pundit. Derek Warwick is the FIA driver steward this weekend and he is both very experienced in that role and a man of integrity.

Rosberg denied that he did it on purpose and told the media that the telemetry will bear him out. “I did the same things as the lap before,” he said.

He went on, “I had a good banker lap and I was pushing it a bit more.

“I just locked up, the outside front, I think it was, or the inside, I’m not sure, and that put me off line,” said Rosberg. “I was still trying to make it but in the last moment I had to turn out because I was going to hit the tyre wall. It was close but I managed to go into the escape road.”

The stewards have accepted the arguments and ruled the matter closed but the debate in the paddock and within the Mercedes camp are likely to go on.


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If a driver holds up another driver who is on a fast qualifying lap, then a penalty is given. Why shouldn’t the same penalty be given when a driver causes yellow flags? I don’t see the difference. This would end gamesmanship, which we know has happened in the past. in Monaco Rosberg affected Hamilton and others. I don’t believe he did it deliberately, but that is besides the point. Time for a rule change.


Just a little reminder to Lewis..



Excellent, similar wheel movement to Nico. I wonder how many driver’s laps he ruined that day. Of course he didn’t benefit but had he taken to the escape road instead of trying to hold onto it then there would have been a similar outcome to Saturday’s quali.


Merc now need Ross as those in charge won’t handle this situation well.

Also Hamilton has a Senna complex. He runs his career by watching Senna videos. This falling out will just force him to delve deeper into his research.


the fact lewis has said he wishes we could all see the data sais alot to me.he must be confident we’d see something the stewards didnt see


Hamiltons twisted reality – SkySportsF1 showed that he was, in fact, a tenth behind Rosberg.


He posted a 19.906 in S1 on his aborted lap. Nico’s best was 19.826. The time marker is on the run down to Mirabeau, so he obviously had already lifted. Even with the 19.906, he just had to do the same 2nd and 3rd sector times as he did previously, and he would’ve had pole by 8-thousands of a second. Of course he likely would’ve gone faster in both of those sectors as well.

The thing is Rosberg was already 0.124s down in the first sector, so he knew that he had no chance to better his then pole time.

Rosberg’s error denied Hamilton pole, simple as that.


Please go watch the analysis from SkySportsF1, there they’re having two synched videos side by side.


All this senna and prost talk makes we wonder what the teams think. Mercedes could not be seen to tolerate blatant cheating and i would expect the drivers contracts to reflect this. If either driver deliberately (as determined by the stewards) crashed into another driver i think their contract would be terminated. Mercedes’s reputation would mean more than the world championhip. Don’t do anything silly Lewis!


As usual hamilton spits the dummy. Have to laugh.


Rosberg played his get out of jail free card perfectly. Looking at the onboard footage again n again it’s apparent Rosberg already lost it over that infamous crest halfway on the straight n he just overcooked his braking into Mirabeau. BUT if he really did reverse back onto tr track while the other 9 cars r still on their hot laps as JAF1 mentioned then that’s just absolutely PATHETIC.


I don’t believe Nico deliberately intended to (nearly) crash. He overdid it. And it doesn’t do Lewis’s mindset any good to get stuck in this “He’s a cheat, he’s a crook mentality”.

Nico isn’t like Schumacher in that dirty ruthless mindset. I agree it is a hollow pole position though, and the celebration seemed off. And you could question as to why he reversed, but in terms of him being a cheat I give him the benefit of the doubt. And the Stewards have judged he didn’t act in a suspicious manner.

But just like “Did Man land on the Moon?” and “Does God exist?” everyone will have their own concrete opinion.


Hi all 🙂

When you watch the replays of Rosberg’s mistake it does look like some funny movement on the steering wheel. But I find it super-hard to believe that he has done it deliberately – whenever I have heard him discussing a race after finishing he comes across as fair and decent. For example, acknowledging that Lewis was just a bit too good for him after the Bahrain race.

I do agree though that his celebrations didnt feel quite right.

Tom in adelaide

Having watched it again Nico could easily have made that corner. Lap ruined of course, but he could have stayed on track.


Hamilton is, and always has been, a bit of a [mod] in these matters. Far from helping his cause, I think he’ll doing himself no favours at all by making a song and dance about this. Even if Rosberg DID do it ‘deliberately’, the best way to deal with it is keep quiet and have enough confidence in his superior ability to win today’s race and those following despite this minor setback. Losing a pole position that he may or may not have got had he finished the lap is hardly the end of the World, and certainly not worth turning the race and season into a grudge match over. Rosberg isn’t as good a driver as Hamilton, but he is more intelligent, mentally calmer and more focussed, more politically accomplished and better able to get the big bosses at Mercedes behind him should he need to. Turning the season into some sort of intra-team vendetta situation will, I think, just make things more difficult for Hamilton.


I quite like Lewis Hamilton, amazing driver, and honestly when he’s “on it”, there’s nobody on the current grid I’d rather watch.

BUT. I think we’re seeing the worst of him right now. He’s acting like a petulant child, throwing his toys out of the pram, getting all sulky, when Nico’s been cleared by the powers that be. Whether or not Nico binned it purpposefully is, frankly, irrelevant now he’s been officially cleared of it.

My message to Lewis would be “mate, shut up and drive – you’ve got one guy to beat for the championship, you’re faster than him, you’re doing fine so far, leading the championship, get on with it”.

Thanks for listening.


Missed qualy yesterday as was travelling but wow…now read all the posts and seen the re-runs, seems clear to me!

1) Did Nico out brake himself on purpose: No. He said no, data from Merc said no, Derek Warwick and the stewards said no…

2) Did he steer into run off on purpose: Yes. He had no reason to try to save the moment and risk putting his race car into the barriers. he probably realised that would spoil any follwoing cars laps due to a mandatory yellow. Quick thinking by the intelligent Nico. Is this cheating? No, it’s using your deep knowledge of the rules to your advantage

3) Did Louis take a risk by delaying his lap to last- yes he did and it did not pay off..

4) On post qualy comments and behaviour, what Nico did celebrating was in poor taste but almost certainly a wind up and quite the norm in modern sport. Louis’s comments about taking the “Senna” way sounded far more lthreatening and if he meant taking Nico off on purpose would be a dangerous threat and clearly cheating. Louis needs to be careful with what he says and calm down- he is still odds on to beat Nico to WDC on present form.


Nico seems to be a very honest person or at least he comes across that way in interviews. If anything he is too nice and you suspect that maybe he needs to be tougher to beat Lewis. To me this looks as though Nico cracked under pressure from Lewis and made a mistake. We have seen this in previous qualifying. The difference today is he got lucky with the yellow flag.


Both drivers come out of this with little credit.

Rosberg should have been far more contrite and apologise to his fellow drivers rather tha fist pump a hollow pole.

Lewis should have said I know Nico wouldn’t deliberately and it’s one of those things.


It’s not easy in the heat of the moment and we have all been there!

I don’t think Nico would do it, not after the reaction to Schumacher.

I ma huge Ham fan and hope he dosn’t do anything silly.

He is not Senna, he is Hamilton a very gifted driver in his own right.


Quote: Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live Hamilton compared the situation to the feud between Senna and Prost in the late 1980s and said: “I like the way Senna dealt with it. I think I’ll take a leaf out of Senna’s book.”

Biggest difference between Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton:

In difficult situations, Lewis Hamilton asks himself “what would Ayrton Senna do?”

In difficult situations, Ayrton Senna asks himself “what would Ayrton Senna do?”


If Lewis had done what Nico did, oh the condemnation. …..


Indeed. Holy hell would rain down from everywhere.


Well, to me this just shows that Nico is just has ‘Hungry’ as Hamilton is, If someone spoke about me the way that Hamilton has recently then i would have done the same thing. (if he did do it deliberately!)


People should just get over it. Nico beat Lewis fair and square. Incidents happen, that’s just life. Lewis shoes the spoiled brat he really is. It’s just whenever Lewis screws up, the British media goes all bruhaha over it. Lewis is not a great driver, he always need a car 2 seconds faster than the rest to win. Fact!


I’m 100% convinced that he didn’t do it deliberately. What I’d like to know though is how, why, and when he reversed back on to the track. If he had started reversing before Hamilton had come by, I’d say that was very unsporting.

This is another example of the poor TV coverage we get. Why no replay of Rosberg reversing back onto the track?


I saw the incident yesterday and immediately thought it was a simple mistake trying to go faster. You look at the images and to say rosberg did it delibratly at that speed and angle is laughable and the stewards after seeing the data and far more TV angles than you see on TV agreed. What I found disconcerting was Lewis’s petulant attitude afterwards it really reminded me of a child not a supposedly mature racing driver or human being. Come on lewis mistakes are made simple as that take it with that mature attitude and get him next time.


Be interesting to see how Nico will handle pressure from behind he put on LH in recent races


LH will be cool, calm and collected on raceday thanks to Niki Lauda.


I have the feeling Niki Lauda is the best thing that could have happen to Lewis. He really seems to teach Hammy some good lessons about racing and life in general. Lewis seems like a different man when compared to his McLaren days.


Now, there’s a comment on society.

Two friends since karting and throughout the various formulas… but all the media and the fans seem interested in is whether or not they hate each other yet.

Every phrase and action they both take is analyzed to death for nuance in the hope that a Senna/Prost-like feud is brewing, and the press will continually try to make it happen.

Seems all the interest is on how much fighting there is between the teammates, rather than who’s actually doing a better job behind the wheel, or have I missed the point of a “world driver’s championship” somewhere?

I note a complete lack of reference to the official remarks from Nico and Lewis on the Mercedes site.

Personally, I hope the two of them find a way to keep their friendship going throughout the season– if nothing else, it will drive many, many people (most of whom have microphones) crazy.


Except they’re not friends to begin with…


Great comment. Well said “grat”.

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