Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix in controversial circumstances, ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

The Mercedes pair went out for one final lap with less than a minute remaining when Rosberg lost control coming out of the Mirabeau turn and slid down an escape road.

A yellow flag came up, meaning that Hamilton could not improve on his time and stewards later saing they are investigating Rosberg's manouvre on turn five.

Of course I'm sorry for Lewis, I didn't know where he was.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes driver

It is the second pole of the season for Rosberg, while Hamilton has the other four.

Hamilton has won the past four races and leads the overall standings by three points from Rosberg, who won the season opener in Australia, where Hamilton retired with engine failure.

Four-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany finished fourth, while Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was fifth.

While Rosberg was smiling, Hamilton looked stern-faced at the post-qualifying news conference and gave short, evasive answers.

He would only say 'not really much' when asked what he thought about the incident.

"Of course I'm sorry for Lewis, I didn't know where he was,'' Rosberg said.

Asked to respond to Rosberg's apology, Hamilton shrugged his shoulders and mumbled: 'I don't have an answer to it'.

Rosberg looked jubilant, as if he had proved a point, clenching his fists victoriously as he stepped out of his Mercedes, with Hamilton standing close by.

Hamilton stokes fire 

Hamilton, the 2008 F1 champion, recently questioned his teammate's hunger to win at the highest level and referring to what he considered Rosberg's easier upbringing in the luxurious surrounds of Monaco compared to his own, sleeping on his father's couch in Stevenage, England.

Given that nine out of the past 10 Monaco GP's have all been won from pole position, Rosberg has a great chance to reclaim the lead from Hamilton. 

Rosberg won from pole position here last year for his maiden win.

Ricciardo again outperformed Vettel in qualifying, and has now qualified higher than him in four from six races.

Source: AP