• Austrian GP - Qualifying

Hamilton spin costs Rosberg shot at pole

ESPN Staff
June 21, 2014 « First corner flummoxes Raikkonen | Bottas wary of aggressive approach from front row »
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Nico Rosberg says Lewis Hamilton's spin in the last seconds of Q3 cost him pole position as he was forced to settle for third on the grid behind the two Williams drivers in Austria.

In an ironic turn of events following Monaco, where Rosberg's controversial late stoppage earned him pole at Hamilton's expense, the roles were reversed for the Mercedes drivers - though Hamilton's error means he will start down in ninth. Rosberg was forced to lift through Turn 2 on his crucial run and he admits he was surprised to find Williams pair Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas pipping Mercedes.

"No, of course I didn't expect them to be in front of me today but they did a good job and it just didn't come together perfectly for me," Rosberg said when asked about Williams' pace. "I also lost out on that last lap because of Lewis spinning in front in the corner so I couldn't do that lap, because you have to lift off two tenths of a second, and doing that then to do at least two tenths [better] you have to do three tenths so it wouldn't have been possible to improve on my lap time so I backed out.

"That definitely cost me today, but that's the way it is. But still, third place is ok. It's ok to start from there tomorrow, I had a quick car in the race [simulations]."

The result ends Mercedes' run of poles this season, one race after Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo ended the team's winning steak in Canada, but Rosberg still expects to be driving the car to beat on Sunday.

"It's a short track here and still we have the fastest car here, even today, it's just that I did not get that second lap to give it a go. In my first lap the balance was not good in general because I had worked more for the race but I did not expect it to be that uncomfortable. Anyway, now it's third and for the race I think I will have a good car.

"It's a very small view that we are taking, two races and no win, no pole, we are still dominant and I hope it will stay like that for some time to come."

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