Ferrari Pilot Sebastian Vettel won the pole

Ferrari Pilot Sebastian Vettel won the pole

When the Safety Car was deployed as a result of Sebastian Vettel's crash in the stadium section, Mercedes called both drivers into the pits immediately as they were approaching the pit entry, but Valtteri Bottas' team didn't have tires ready.

The blow was the latest of several Hamilton has suffered this season.

It was Hamilton s fourth win this year and the 66th of his career, the triumph lifting him to the top of the drivers title race and putting Mercedes back on top of the constructors championship - no wonder Mercedes chairman Dieter Zetsche embraced him.

A day after announcing that defending four-time champion Hamilton had agreed a two-year blockbuster contract extension keeping him at Mercedes until 2020, the team said it had retained Finn Bottas for next year with an option for 2020.

Within a matter of metres, however, it would dawn on Hamilton that his mission would be impossible.

The Briton crouched down next to the vehicle after it was wheeled off the track, resting his helmeted head on the front in apparent shock.

"Never write off Lewis because he always comes back, and that is a fact", added Rosberg. "This is a huge setback". Hamilton felt the problem was evident before then, however. From there, perhaps wounded by jeers from the partisan German fans, he would address the critics on social media.

"It was a small mistake but a big impact on the race". It has freaked me out a little bit more than normal, particularly with the biblical storm afterwards.


"The last lap I had a bit left in me and I managed to squeeze everything out of the auto", a jubilant Vettel said. It is something learnt over time.

"I knew sitting on the grid that I had to catch the guys at the front - that was my goal".

Hamilton has now come unstuck at six of the 11 grands prix this season, following three mechanical failures, and three strategical errors.

Vettel radioed his team saying the situation was "silly", telling his engineers that his tyre temperatures were going too high in the dirty air of Raikkonen's vehicle. But it appears a real possibility that the German race is not part of Liberty's long-term vision, and could be dropped permanently to make room for fresh locations.

"I never get to watch the races but just got home and watching Sky (Sports)", Hamilton wrote. We perform better when under pressure.

"These things happen, all you can do is try to gather your thoughts, put your energy, any negative energy, whatever energy you have and put it towards trying to do your best next day".

"It's traditionally been good for us but there's a lot on the weather, what it's going to be like there. We just have to work harder".

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