Former F1 champion Nico Rosberg admitted that he had never seen the emotional side of Lewis Hamilton before. He was referring to Hamilton’s devastated figure at the problem that ruled him out of qualifying today.
The German is a long-time rival of Hamilton and the reigning champion’s teammate from 2013 to 2016.
Lewis Hamilton is battling with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for the 2018 title. Sadly, it was dealt a blow at Hockenheim when he was forced to pull over. As it turned out, he had a loss of hydraulic pressure at the end of the first qualifying segment.
Now, the Briton will start 14th, pending Daniel Ricciardo’s grid penalty. He also had a terminal car issue in Austria and was hit by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at Silverstone. One cannot honestly blame Hamilton for being disconsolate.
“This is something I’m a bit worried about,” said Rosberg, now a pundit for Sky Sports. “I’ve never seen that body language from him before.
“We saw it for the first time at Silverstone, and now again for a very long time there – disbelief, or something.
“Of course it’s tough but this is a new body language, I’ve never seen that from Lewis.”
With no Hamilton, Vettel’s path to pole position was clear. But not before teammate Raikkonen and the surviving Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas made him sweat.
“This is such a huge setback,” Rosberg continued, “because Vettel is out there, the car is flying, he is odds-on favourite to win the race, and Lewis again has to start from somewhere back.
“So that’s going to be a very difficult day tomorrow for him.”
The W09 shuddered to a stop shortly after Hamilton went off-track at Turn 1 and bounced over the kerbs. An eagle-eyed Rosberg highlighted that as the likely culprit for the stoppage.
“To me it looked like he made a mistake at Turn 1, went really wide, and he had some big, big hits because he was off the track there, and right after that the problem started.
“So I think probably the gearbox broke with those big, big impacts, and that’s it.”
However Hamilton insisted that the off had nothing to do with the problem.