Formula 1 - Hamilton crashes as Rosberg takes pole in Germany

Formula One title contender Lewis Hamilton crashed during the first phase of qualifying for the German Grand Prix, before his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg took pole.

Formula 1 - Hamilton brake failure being investigated

View photo

Lewis Hamilton's car is air-lifted (Getty)

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 of the car and went to the medical centre for checks.

"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.

Rosberg, meanwhile, was able to capitalise on his Championship rival's misfortune as he took pole with a best time of 1:16.540 from Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa of Williams.

The team confirmed the car's right front brake disc had failed in the initial phase of the session at their home circuit.

Qualifying had to be halted for nine minutes after the crash, which happened within sight of the Mercedes Grandstand at the Stadium complex.

View photo


Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (AFP)

Hamilton had been second fastest when his front left wheel locked up, while a puff of smoke could be seen from the right side.

The car spun sideways and into the tyre wall on a blisteringly hot afternoon with track temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius.

The team reported the driver, whose lap time meant he was likely to qualify 16th for Sunday's race, was "OK but sore from the crash".

"I'm OK. I hit the brakes and something...the brakes failed," Hamilton had said over the car radio.

Rosberg was fastest in the first two parts of qualifying and looking likely to start on pole.

The crash continues a run of bad luck for 2008 champion Hamilton, who has retired from two races this season while Rosberg suffered his first blank in Britain two weeks ago.

Hamilton won that race at Silverstone, despite making a big error in qualifying when he thought he had done enough for pole only to see others go faster in the final seconds, to slash Rosberg's lead from 29 points to four.

Qualifying from the Formula One German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring on Saturday

1. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:16.540

2. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1:16.759

3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1:17.078

4. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1:17.214

5. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:17.273

6. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:17.577

7. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:17.649

8. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault 1:17.965

9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1:18.014

10. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1:18.035

- - - - - - - - - -

11. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:18.193

12. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1:18.273

13. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault 1:18.285

14. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1:18.787

15. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1:18.983

16. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes

- - - - - - - - - -

17. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1:19.142

18. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - Ferrari 1:19.676

19. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault 1:20.195

20. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham - Renault 1:20.408

21. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 1:20.489

22. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham - Renault


1-10: third and final qualifying session

11-16: second qualifying session

17-22: first qualifying sessio

View comments (136)