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Lewis Hamilton Q&A: I may struggle to crack the top ten

26 Jul 2014

For the second straight race Lewis Hamilton suffered qualifying heartbreak as his hopes of securing pole in Hungary went up in smoke at the start of Q1.

The Briton, who swept every practice session in Budapest, is under no illusions that Sunday's race will be extremely difficult and is doubtful that he can repeat his Hockenheim charge, even if he'll be trying his very best...

Q: Lewis that must have been quite a moment of shock seeing your car burn...

Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, unbelievable. I can't say in public what I thought at that very moment. I still can't really believe what happened this afternoon. Now the important thing is to see how I come out of that - that is the really important point.

Q: Starting from the back tomorrow – that is probably quite different to what you anticipated for this weekend having topped the timesheets in all three practice sessions...

LH: Yes, I thought that this could be an easier weekend than the last one. I have always had good races and qualifying here in Budapest – so of course you think it will be the same this time around.

Q: Can you explain exactly what happened?

LH: Well, something happened with the brake pedal - or the brake system - and I made some changes to correct that. I went out again and suddenly there was an issue with the engine when I came out of the penultimate corner, so I moved towards the pit lane entry when suddenly I looked into the mirror and saw it: the rear was on fire! I first thought that I could get the car back to the garage – but that was not possible. We will have to analyse what the cause was, but it was definitely a bit of a bizarre feeling, sitting in a car that was on fire.

Q: Will that mean that you have to do it all over again, just like in Hockenheim?

LH: It looks that way – and I will! Right now I don't really know what to say. But be sure that I will do anything to come back again. But keeping in mind that this is not an easy track to overtake on, my guess is that a Hockenheim recap will be a bit illusive. It will again be an easy weekend for Nico [Rosberg]. I hope that I can start at least from the back of the grid and not from the pit lane.

Q: How is the car?

LH: We will have to replace the engine and the gearbox – but at least the penalty that normally comes with that doesn't harm [the grid position]! But what that means for the rest of the season in terms of engines will have to be seen...

Q: Niki Lauda said that it is so unfair: you've been fastest the whole weekend so far and should be on pole position – and then that...

LH: Well, that's the way it goes sometimes. I think I will struggle to get into the top ten. I fear that I will leave tomorrow more than 20 points behind [Rosberg] in the standings. The only comfort is that there are still many races to go. That's what keeps my chin up!