Photos: Hamilton walks away from nasty Qualifying shunt

Lewis Hamilton hops out of his crashes Mercedes during qualifying for the German GP

Lewis Hamilton hops out of his crashes Mercedes during Qualifying for the German GP

Formula 1 title contender Lewis Hamilton crashed during the first phase of Qualifying for the German Grand Prix on Saturday, halting the session.

The front left wheel on the Mercedes appeared to lock up as the Briton approached the stadium section of the circuit, with the car spinning sideways and into the tyre wall on a blisteringly hot afternoon.

Hamilton, who is four points behind championship leading team mate Nico Rosberg in the overall standings at the halfway point in the season, stepped out and appeared unhurt.

“I’m OK. I hit the brakes and something…the brakes failed,” he said over the car radio. The session was halted for nine minutes before resuming.

Lewis Hamilton is led to the medical car after his shunt

Lewis Hamilton is led to the medical car after his shunt

If there has been any weak link in Hamilton’s armoury this season, it has been Qualifying where on a number of occasions he has been compromised. Most recently, two weeks earlier on home soil at Silverstone, where he miscalculated the late session pace and aborted his last run which relegated him to sixth on the grid when pole was his to be had.

However this time the incident was caused by no fault of his own, and the exact cause will be a worry to the dominant Silver Arrows outfit who will obviously want to avoid anything of the nature happening during the race for which Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg qualified on pole.

Hamilton officially qualified in 16th but will start from 15th, because of a penalty incurred by Esteban Gutierrez drops the Mexican down the order.

The qualifying tally between the title contenders is now five-four, in Rosberg’s favour and the points difference ahead of the race Germany is only four, with Hamilton trailing. (GP247-Reuters)