Lewis Hamilton's Formula One world championship hopes were dealt a massive blow in the first qualifying session at the German Grand Prix as his Mercedes lost hydraulic pressure.
Hamilton had been fourth fastest at Hockenheim as he began his final run of Q1, but it ended in disaster as his Silver Arrow let him down.
The defending champion sits eight points behind Sebastian Vettel in the standings, but eradicating that deficit could be a huge task for the Briton – who signed a new Mercedes deal on Thursday.
Hamilton's last outing on Saturday began scrappily as he ran wide at Turn 8, and two corners later he was pulling over to the side of the track.
"Zero throttle. Stop stop, stop stop," came the message on team radio.
Hamilton replied: "Guys I need to make it back."
"Negative," was the reply. "Stop stop, stop stop. Loss of hydraulic."
Having climbed out of the cockpit Hamilton had to push his stricken car to safety before marshalls were able to assist with the trundling W09.
Hamilton returned to the pits on a motorbike knowing his qualifying was over, meaning he will finish in 15th place heading into Sunday's race.
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