F1: Hamilton’s bad luck continues with qualifying fire

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP walks away from his car after it caught fire during qualifying ahead of the 2014 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix.

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton was left with no qualifying time in Hungary after, what his team believes was fuel leak, caused a major fire early in Q1.

Although he officially qualified 21st, Hamilton will probably start from the pitlane in a new car built up around the spare chassis.

“I baled out of that timed lap that I was doing,” said Hamilton. “And I was like I’ll try and do the second lap, and then something happened to the brakes, something on the brake system failed, so I had to engage some settings to try and correct it, and then the engine just died.

“I thought I’m right next to the pit entry, so I’ll roll back and at least get them to fix it. And then I looked in my mirrors and it was on fire. I was hoping to get it in neutral so I could push it back or something, and no luck. It was on fire, but I was still trying to get it to the garage, I was like hopefully I can roll to the garage, maybe they can do something, and then they said stop, stop, stop. I tried to stop and the brakes aren’t working, the cars kind of rolling forward, the engine’s kind of sometimes working or not working, so it’s all pretty bad.”

Regarding his prospects for Sunday, he said: “This is a track that you can’t really overtake on, I think I’ll struggle to get into the top 10 tomorrow, or at least the top five. I’ll probably leave here more than 20 points behind Nico, but there are still races to go.”