Lewis Hamilton will start the German GP from a lowly 15th after he suffered a front right brake disc failure in Q1 and spun heavily into the tyre wall.
Hamilton did not take part in Q2 and was thus officially 16th, but he gained a place from an Esteban Gutierrez grid penalty.
Out of choice Hamilton uses Brembo discs while Nico Rosberg uses Carbon Industrie – it’s not uncommon for drivers to swap around as they search for better ‘feel’ – so the German does not have an issue. The broken disc was new today and the team has no explanation for the failure, although the likelihood is that it was a one-off manufacturing fault.
Hamilton could in theory switch brands for the race – but it would be a change of car spec, and he would have to start from the pit lane.
“It happens so quickly,” said Hamilton. “And the thing is when you’re driving you have to have 110% confidence in the car, and you never, ever enter a corner thinking something’s going to happen. So you hit it [the brake pedal] and it’s a real shock. We’ll figure something out. There’s still a decent amount of races to go. Obviously Nico’s got another gift but we’ll do what we can.
“I can’t believe it, but obviously things like this happen, things are for whatever reason sent to try us. The guys worked hard over the evening, really late last night. We’ve done such a great job with the set-up, it felt fantastic out there, and I didn’t even get to do five laps. It’s nothing really to do with the guys. They’re supposed to have gone through lots of tests with the brakes, which they did. Just a bit unfortunate.”