Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had a torrid qualifying session as his car ground to a halt. As it turned out, the defending champion developed a hydraulic issue. This has certainly thrown a spanner in the works for the Mercedes team at their home race.
During the session, Hamilton went off the circuit on a number of occasions. After his third off, the car suddenly slowed down and he was forced to pull over. His race engineer got on the radio and frantically told him to stop the car.
When Hamilton came on the radio as his car trundled, he reported having no gears. If one had to fathom a guess, when he had his third off, the car bounced across the kerb and likely knocked the hydraulics off for a loop.
Fortunately, he will not be the only high-profile driver starting at the back of the pack. Daniel Ricciardo will be starting last after having changed a number of components of his engine. As off Q2, Ricciardo and Hamilton will not be going out on track, unsurprisingly. In Ricciardo’s case, there is no point in doing so since he is starting last.
Lewis attempted to get the car back to the pit lane but it was too late for him. So he was left, a forlorn figure by the side of his car. Now, all he can do is ruminate on what might have been and focus on Sunday’s race.
On the bright side, he will have a free choice of tyres and plan his strategy accordingly. The question is, will Hamilton be able to stage a comeback and get on the podium? Given the sheer power of the Mercedes, it is likely that he will be able to claw his way up the order. More importantly, can he salvage his championship fight from 15th on the grid?