Nico Rosberg had an off day at the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, with the German unable to make it four consecutive wins at the circuit, ultimately finishing down in seventh.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver had started on the front row of the grid for the race, but struggled for pace in the early stages of the race, losing considerable ground on race leader Daniel Ricciardo.
Rosberg admitted to not being comfortable behind the wheel of his W07, and was unable to make any progress later in the race when the circuit dried up.
“In racing you have good days and bad days,” said Rosberg. “Today was a bad day for me. I didn’t have the pace to fight for the win and we need to understand why.
“It was possibly a brake issue – but I don’t know for sure yet. I didn’t feel like I could push to the limit at the beginning of the race on the wet tyres.”
After running second early on, it was soon clear that Rosberg was holding up team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and the German accepted a request from the pit wall to allow the British driver passed to fight for the win, which he did on the exit of Ste Devote.
Traffic during his pit stop compromised his afternoon further, and he lost track position to Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso to run sixth in the second half of the race.
“It was a simple decision to accept the request from the team to let Lewis past – even if it hurt very much in that moment,” said Rosberg. “I was very far off the pace and Lewis quite clearly had the speed to win for the team. We’ve always had that rule – if you’re ahead and the other guy has a chance to win, you give him that chance.
“From there it just didn’t go my way. I had a tricky pit stop and was held in the box because there was traffic in pit lane. So the cars were just streaming by and suddenly I was down to sixth. Once you’re behind in Monaco that’s it – you’re stuck.”
Rosberg lost out on sixth place on the run to the chequered flag after losing temperature with his tyres in the late-race drizzle which allowed Nico Hülkenberg to beat his fellow German to the flag by just 0.291s, with the Mercedes driver feeling the loss of position summed up his afternoon.
“At the end, Nico had a lot more rubber left on his Soft tyres and my UltraSofts were finished, so I lost temperature in the drizzle and lost grip, which let him past too,” said Rosberg. “That kind of summed it up, really.
“I’m massively disappointed with today – I really wanted to win my home race again but it didn’t work out. It’s been tough and I’ll probably need a day to take it all in – but then I’ll shift my focus to Canada and a chance to come back stronger.”