German Grand Prix – The cause of Lewis Hamilton’s early exit in Q1 was down to hydraulic failure it has been revealed.
The four-times world champion was knocked out in the first part of Saturday qualifying after his steering failed entering the corner of turn 1 causing his car to bounce over the kerbs.
With his car stuck in fourth gear, his engineer urged Hamilton to stop the car due to a ‘PU (power unit) risk’. In dramatic scenes, the Briton tried to push his car back to the pits but in the end had to pull over.
Hamilton, who was visibly dejected at the end of Q1, took to social media and posted several statements to his Instagram account.
“FYI, to avoid all assumptions, today was nobody’s fault. When I got to the exit curb [sic] of turn 1, the hydrolics [sic] in the steering failed.
“When this happened, the car pulled to the left and so I was forced to drive off the track, and subsequently taking a bumpy ride before rejoining [sic]. Those big bumps did zero damage.
“These things happen and as always we win an we lose together as a team.”
Hamilton also explained why he didn’t pull over when requested from his team.
“It’s qualifying, the car was still going, and I hoped with all my heart that I might make it back and they could fix it.
“In my heart I never give up, so it is the hardest thing to give in and accept the car will not make it back.
“I turned the car off and thought perhaps I could even push it back as crazy as it sounds. That’s just me being passionate”.
Mercedes issued a statement after qualifying corroborating Hamilton’s explanation.
“We had the failure at Turn 1 as Lewis ran the ‘normal’ kerb which all the drivers use in that stage of qualifying.
“Then, with failed power steering as a result of the hydraulic failure, he had the ‘jumping’ moments that were seen on TV and which people understandably thought might have been the cause of the issue – but were in fact a consequence of it.”
Hamilton starts tomorrows’ race in 14th place, just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. This comes after Hamilton secured a home pole position in Silverstone, but had to fight his way through the field after a clash with Kimi Raikkonen on lap 1.