Hockenheim: Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is prepared for the drive of his life after a hydraulics problem in qualifying left him 14th on the starting grid for Sunday’s German Grand Prix.
“I will never give in or give up. Tomorrow is a new day and as always I will drive like my life depends on it,” the Mercedes driver declared on social media after trying to push his stricken car back to the pits in a dramatic session.
“Good or bad, I will die before I give in,” said the Briton, who is eight points behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the halfway point in the season. Hamilton crouched down next to the car after it was wheeled off the track, resting his helmeted head on the front in apparent shock.
“I’ve never seen body language like this from Lewis,” commented former team mate and 2016 champion Nico Rosberg on Sky Sports television, adding, “this is a huge setback.”
It was also a blow for Mercedes in their home race, with the big bosses watching, as Hamilton stopped. Team boss Toto Wolff took a phone call on the pit wall during the session, explaining later, “it was (Mercedes-Benz chief executive) Dieter Zetsche calling me and saying ‘it’s unbelievable, what just happened’.”
“Gears won’t change,” Hamilton had reported over the team radio. “Guys, I need to make it back,” he added, to which Mercedes replies with an urgent “stop, stop, stop, stop.”
Hamilton ran wide...