Nico Rosberg says Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton's spin at the end of Austrian Grand Prix qualifying cost him his final pole shot.
Hamilton went off at Turn 2 at the end of Q3 at the Red Bull Ring and will start only ninth as his previous lap - which was slow in any case due to an error - was disallowed for a track limits infringement.
But despite his title rival being out of action, Rosberg was unable to continue Mercedes' pole run and had to settle for third behind the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Rosberg's first Q3 run had been slower than the Grove cars, and he then abandoned his second bid when he came across the yellow flags for Hamilton's incident.
"My lap didn't come together perfectly, to be honest," said Rosberg.
"I also lost out because of Lewis spinning on that lap.
"You have to lift off by two or three tenths of a second [for the yellows]. It would not have been possible to improve my laptime.
"That definitely cost me today, but that is the way it is."
The F1 championship leader admitted he had not expected to find himself behind two Williams on the grid.
"I definitely didn't expect the Williams to be ahead of me today," said Rosberg. "They did a great job.
"Third place is OK to start from tomorrow. I am looking forward to it."
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