Rosberg ‘worried’ about Hamilton’s body language

Nico Rosberg has described Lewis Hamilton’s body language as something he has “never seen” after the Brit had more issues on Saturday.

Hamilton’s W09 broke down at the end of Q1 at the Hockenheimring, leading to the four-time World Champion breaking down alongside it.

“This is something I am a bit worried about. I have never seen that body language from him before,” Rosberg said on Sky Sports.

“We saw it for the first time at Silverstone and now again for a very long time there – disbelief or something.

“Of course it is tough, but this is a new body language, I have never seen that from Lewis.”

With the Brit falling out of qualifying, it left a path clear for Sebastian Vettel to take pole position at his home grand prix.

However, he faced stiff competition from Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, who fell just sort of the former Red Bull man.

With his title rival taking top spot in qualifying, Hamilton has suffered another major setback, says Rosberg.

“This is such a huge setback because Vettel is out there, the car is flying, he is odds-on favourite to win the race, and Lewis again has to start from somewhere back,” the 2016 World Champion said.

“So that is going to be a very difficult day tomorrow for him.”

The German believes that his former team-mate suffered the hydraulics issue after running wide at the start of the lap.

“To me, it looked like he made a mistake at Turn 1, went really wide, and he had some big big hits because he was off the track there, and right after that the problem started,” Rosberg added.

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Mercedes clarify cause of Hamilton stoppage

Mercedes have cleared up Lewis Hamilton’s disastrous qualifying after a difference of opinion emerged over the cause of his early exit in Germany.

Hamilton was seen running wide at Turn 1 during Q1 and that led some to suggest the Brit caused damage to the car by hitting the unforgiving kerb.

Hamilton said that the problems started before that particular incident happened, but Mercedes chief Toto Wolff initially thought that the kerb could have caused the hydraulic leak that denied Hamilton a shot at pole position for the German Grand Prix.

Mercedes, who had already swept away other rumours after reports claimed Hamilton was too unwell to take part in FP3, have released a statement to clarify the qualifying incident.

“Lewis Hamilton had a hydraulic failure at Turn 1 as he ran the normal kerb through that corner,” Mercedes said.

“Then, with failed power steering, as a result of the hydraulic failure, his car jumped over the run-off.

“The car’s ‘jumping’ moments seen on TV were a consequence of the hydraulic failure, rather than the cause of it.”

Hamilton is due to start the German Grand Prix from P14, leaving the Brit with another recovery drive after having to do the same in the previous race at Silverstone.

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Hamilton in P14: ‘It’s not going to be like Silverstone’

Lewis Hamilton is pessimistic about his chances at the German Grand Prix after a hydraulic issue prompted an abrupt end to his qualifying session.

Hamilton is set to start from P14 at the Hockenheimring after becoming stuck in fourth gear during Q1 and told to stop the car because of an hydraulic issue.

Desperate to get back going again, Hamilton hopped out of the car on track and tried to push it back to the pit lane, but would soon cut a distraught figure when the tow truck arrived to take his car away.

Hamilton had to come from the back of the grid at the previous race in Great Britain after being hit by Kimi Raikkonen.

And he faces another Sunday afternoon of working his way through the field in Germany. However, he feels a P2 finish that he earned at Silverstone is going to be out of reach.

Lewis Hamilton

“It definitely was a tough one but these things happen,” Hamilton said in the paddock.

“All you can do is try and gather your thoughts and live to fight another day, another opportunity to rise, so I’ll give everything tomorrow to see how high I can get up but it’s not going to be like Silverstone.

“I’m sure I’ll be able to get through to some point, but to where I don’t know.”

Asked if the hydraulic failure was caused by hitting the kerb at turn one, he replied: “It happened before then.

“You use the kerb the same every lap. Just before the kerb I think the steering broke so I think that’s the issue.

“I saw there was leaking oil and I knew that I had to stop and let them put the car away somewhere. I have the will to not want to give up, I just want to keep pushing.”

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Qualy: Vettel on pole, Hamilton breaks down

Sebastian Vettel held off Valtteri Bottas to claim pole position for his home race, the German GP, while a hydraulic issue sidelined Lewis Hamilton in Q1.

After earlier rain marred final practice, the track had almost completely dried out ahead of Saturday’s qualifying at the Hockenheimring. There was, however, a threat of rain in the air.

Q1 saw Ferrari dominate with Kimi Raikkonen holding down P1 ahead of Sebastian Vettel while there was drama for Hamilton.

Having climbed the kerbs, he reported that “the gears won’t change” and stopped on the side of the track.

Both Hamilton and the Hockenheimring marshals tried to push his car back to the pits but were forced to give up on that endevour.

His qualifying was over, Mercedes said due to a “loss of hydraulics.”

Unable to take his place in Q2, the Mercedes driver finished Saturday’s running in 15th place but, barring a penalty of his own, should start P14 due to Daniel Ricciardo‘s engine change penalty.

There was more drama in Q2 as the session had to be red flagged for a few minutes when Marcus Ericsson dragged gravel onto the racing line as he returned to the track after a spin.

Q2 went the way of Valtteri Bottas ahead of Max Verstappen.

In Q3, the pole position shoot-out, Vettel sat on provisional pole with a 1:11.539, 0.170s up on Bottas while Raikkonen was third ahead of Verstappen. The quartet were separated by less than four-tenths of a second.

Heading out for a second run, Vettel and Verstappen were the last two to leave the pits while Raikkonen had to pull an overtake on Sergio Perez to get ahead of the Force India in the queue. Bottas was behind the two Haas cars who did extremely slow out-laps as both backed up to make space.

Vettel went purple in the first sector and again in the second. He crossed the line with a 1:11.212 while Bottas, despite improving his time, stayed second, 0.204.

It was a new lap record at the Hockenheimring for Vettel.

Raikkonen was third ahead of Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

Nico Hulkenberg qualified P7 ahead of Carlos Sainz, the ever impressive Charles Leclerc and Perez.

There was a glimmer of hope for Williams with Sergey Sirotkin qualifying his FW41 in 12th place.

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Times
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:11.212
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.204s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.335s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.61s
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas 0.988s
6 Romain Grosjean Haas 1.332s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.348s
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 1.48s
9 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1.505s
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1.562s
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:13.657
12 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:13.702
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:13.736
14 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes no time
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull no time
16 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:13.720
17 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:13.749
18 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:14.045
19 Lance Stroll Williams 1:14.206
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:14.401

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Hamilton: Schumi’s seven is unimaginable

Lewis Hamilton says the length of his Mercedes extension has nothing to do with chasing Michael Schumacher’s record of seven World titles.

Earlier this week Mercedes announced that Hamilton would stick around for a further two seasons, racing for the Brackley squad until the end of 2020.

That means should he win this year’s World title, he could then chase Schumacher’s seven while still racing for Mercedes.

Hamilton says that did not play a role in his thinking.

“For me that’s unimaginable at the moment,” he told Sky Sports.

“It doesn’t make sense to believe you’re going to win every single championship from now to the end of the contract.

“Whilst that is the goal and that’s the dream, perfect scenario, nothing ever goes perfectly generally.

“So I didn’t set out in the two years saying that gives me the time to do that. I’m going to work towards it.”

As for whether this new two-year deal will be his last in Formula 1, Hamilton says it is “impossible” to make that decision today.

“It’s impossible to say what I’m going to feel like in two years’ time.

“What I can tell you is I still feel pretty great and I wasn’t expecting to be as excited as I am now in signing to extend.

“I’m also very conscious of how long it is beyond retirement.

“There are so many great reasons to remain a part of the sport but, who knows, maybe in two years’ time my life will be completely different and I will want completely different things to I want know.

“Time will tell.”

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Hamilton: German weather is ‘demanding’

Lewis Hamilton has said that the high temperatures at the German Grand Prix are making it “very demanding”.

The four-time World Champion came a close second to a different Red Bull in both of Friday’s practice sessions at the Hockenheimring.

Daniel Ricciardo topped FP1, while Max Verstappen headed up FP2. Hamilton was just 0.004s and 0.026s behind, respectively, on the 73-second lap.

The Brit said that the conditions were making it tough for the drivers, though.

“The weather is amazing: it’s very hot, which makes it very demanding and physical in the car,” Hamilton said.

Despite the hot temperatures in Germany, the £40million-a-year man said that the Mercedes felt good, but they needed to practice their getaways.

“The car was feeling good, but it is very close, so there’s lots of work to do tonight,” he added.

“We’ve been working on our starts, making sure to get a better understanding of the tyres and tyre temperatures and trying to be as perfect as we can in that area.”

Read more: Confirmed deals for the 2019 season

Come Saturday afternoon, the four-time World Champion believes that it is anyone’s game for pole position.

“Both Ferrari and Red Bull were very quick today and I think it will be very similar tomorrow and on Sunday,” the Brit continued.

“It’s going to be a serious challenge and it’s not an easy track to get right, so we will have to give it everything.”

 

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Hamilton ‘didn’t give any air’ to rival offer

Lewis Hamilton has revealed one rival team try to poach him from Mercedes, however, he didn’t give the offer any consideration.

On Thursday Mercedes finally confirmed that Hamilton would remain at the team until the end of 2020 having signed a two-year extension.

The announcement brings to an end months of speculation as to why no contract was forthcoming despite both parties initially saying they wanted it resolved before this season even began.

Asked if he had been approached by either Ferrari or Red Bull, the Brit told journalists in Germany: “In terms of the other guys approaching, one did, but I didn’t give it any air.”

Pressed as to whether that team was Ferrari, he replied: “You can make whatever assumption that you want!”

Hamilton added that he had told Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff early in their negotiations that he would not entertain any offer from a rival team.

“Toto is a great human being and a great manager. We have got a great relationship, and it has gone from strength to strength,” said Hamilton.

“We have had our ups and downs as every relationship does, but it has been one of a lot of growth, and I really appreciate Toto being so patient with me.

“Most people would not have been given the timeframe I chose to take, but the one thing that shows is the trust we have between each other.

“I said from day one, ‘I am not looking anywhere else, I’m not talking to anyone else, I am not investigating to see what other options there are, I’m not playing you against anybody else.

“‘While I know there are drivers calling you, which I expect, I also trust you are not thinking to do anything else, so we can take our time’.”

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