Hamilton had not even set a Q1 time when he entered the pit lane with the rear of his F1 W05 Hybrid in flames following a fuel leak. The team will replace the Briton’s chassis, engine and gearbox as a result. The sporting regulations stipulate that a change of chassis requires the driver to start from the pit lane.
“Tonight, I need to somehow find the way to turn this into a positive for tomorrow, then build on that going into the race,” said Hamilton of his qualifying session. “It will be a very difficult afternoon as it's one of the hardest circuits to overtake on. But these things are sent to try us and how I come out of it is going to be the most important thing.”
Magnussen, meanwhile, went into the Turn 1 barriers at speed during Q3 after being caught out by a sudden downpour, badly damaging the left-hand side of his MP4-29, leaving him tenth in the qualifying results and requiring McLaren to change his chassis and gearbox.
“Starting from the pit lane will make life more difficult,” Magnussen commented, “but I’m determined to have a strong race.”