• Mercedes

Hamilton still questions Rosberg's Monaco error

ESPN Staff
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Lewis Hamilton says Nico Rosberg took the in-house Mercedes title fight "to another level" by what he still perceives as a deliberate mistake in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

At the end of Q3 in Monte Carlo Rosberg made a mistake on the run down to Mirabeau, bringing out yellow flags when he pulled up into the run-off zone. That prevented Hamilton completing a lap he was thought would give him pole, with Rosberg escaping punishment from the FIA after qualifying had finished and going on to win the following day.

It followed both men using banned engine modes - Rosberg in Bahrain and Hamilton in Spain - against the wishes of the team to gain an advantage. Hamilton, who eventually prevailed in the title battle, still thinks Rosberg crossed a line in Monaco.

"From Bahrain Nico did one thing, Barcelona I did one thing, and then Nico took it to another level in Monaco which definitely made it very difficult for us, for me," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1's review of the season. "I just tried to remain calm at least and from those experiences you just have try and turn the negatives into a positive. I lost seven points in that race in Monaco, but I was determined to get it back."

Hamilton also sparked controversy after the pair's collision in Spa later in the year when he claimed Rosberg had told Mercedes it was intentional, though team boss Toto Wolff later clarified the German's comments as wanting to prove a point while vying for the lead.

Hamilton added: "Nothing has changed about my opinion of what happened [in Belgium], it is the same for Monaco. But it is cool because I am world champion now."

As for the use of banned engine modes, Hamilton thinks Rosberg's was far more serious than his own.

"Barcelona was a period of time, and actually Bahrain before that, discussing the plan going into the season about the engine switches that we were able to use and not able to use, a couple of times in Bahrain the other side of the garage used a couple of the switches you are not allowed to use to enable him to get past.

"It was obviously brought up afterwards; less strain was put on it, although it could have changed the result of the race. Then when we got to Barcelona a similar thing happened on my side of the garage, but it happened in a moment when we weren't particularly racing and later the engineers calculated everything and said it wouldn't have made any difference anyway, but it was still not allowed. So it was really stressed between both drivers that this was not allowed to happen: 'unless we tell you what engine mode to use you cannot change'."

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