It was another disappointing qualifying session for Lewis Hamilton, as the Brit experienced the same Power Unit failure as he did in China during Q2. The current world champion was classified in tenth place after the session, but if any changes are required to the W07 overnight, penalties could be incurred that would see the triple world champion move further down the order.
Despite having his progress hampered by continuing issues however, Hamilton is staying upbeat and believes he will still have a strong race during the 2016 Russian Grand Prix.
“It’s obviously not a great feeling to be on the sidelines again – but that’s life. I knew there was a problem and that it was probably the same failure that I had in China pretty much straight away. I went out for a second run in Q2 to get a feeler lap and felt the same power loss as last time.
“When it happened in Shanghai it was something we hadn’t seen before and now unfortunately it’s happened again, so we need to understand it. I’ve never been superstitious about these things, though, and I never will be. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ll move on and look ahead to the race. I don’t know where I’m going to start yet – we’ll wait to see how that unfolds. But I never give up and I’ll give it all I’ve got to recover whatever I can in the race, like always.
“It’s not an easy track for overtaking. With the levels of tyre degradation and it being so tough to follow here, it’s not going to be easy to make my way forward. But there are long straights and we’ve got good pace, so if I can keep the car in one piece I’ll be fighting for decent points I’m sure.”
To put a further dampener on his weekend, the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS man also received a reprimand from the stewards for failing to go around the specially placed bollard when running wide at Turn 2 during Q1, something race direction had advised the drivers would be a requirement prior to the FP3 session this morning.
This is Hamilton’s second reprimand of 2016, after being handed one back in Bahrain when he reversed down the pit lane, and should the Briton receive a third reprimand this season, he will incur a ten-place grid penalty.