A dejected Lewis Hamilton knelt beside his broken Mercedes after disregarding instructions to switch off his stricken car after it spluttered and lost speed on his final run in Q1 during of qualifying for the German Grand Prix.
Hamilton made a number of mistakes on the laps preceding the final run, clearly out of sorts in the car throughout the session. He ended Q1 fifth on the timing screens, half a second off the top time set by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
After kerb hopping and going wide in his final attempt he reported over the radio that the car got stuck in fourth gear, upon which he was told to shut it down and park it. Instead, Hamilton ignored a couple more commands to abort but persisted until the Merc died.
Dejected but still fired up, Hamilton then tried to push his stricken car towards the pits, with marshals in tow until they finally directed the car to be parked behind the trackside wall.
He said afterwards, “It definitely was a tough one but these things happen and all you can do is try and gather your thoughts and live to fight another day, another opportunity to rise, so I’ll give everything tomorrow to see how high I can get up but it’s not going to be like Silverstone.”
On live TV the reigning world champion was crestfallen as he knelt beside his car as if in prayer before trudging off, prompting Nico Rosberg to observe, “I’ve never seen body language like this from Lewis. This is a huge setback.”