Lewis Hamilton insists that he will be on the grid for the German Grand Prix on Sunday, but admits that it is hard to see anyone other than his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg winning the race.
The Briton's gloomy forecast came after he suffered a heavy impact with the tyre wall in the stadium section at Hockenheim, the result of a brake disc failure on the right front wheel of his W05 Hybrid.
Clearly winded in the impact, Hamilton took some time to alight from the remains of his car, but was cleared by medical staff in time to return to the paddock and speak with the media.
“I'm in a little bit of pain but that's what usually happens when you have a crash like that,” he revealed, “I think they said I pulled 30 Gs or something like that [in the impact], so....”
The Silverstone race winner had been sitting second on the timesheets in the first phase of qualifying at the time of the accident, and admitted that there had been no warning of the failure.
“It just takes you by complete surprise,” he confirmed, “It happens so quickly. When you're driving, you have to 100 per cent confidence in the car and you never ever enter a corner thinking something is going to happen, so you hit the brake pedal and it's a real shock.”
With a part failure quickly blamed for the accident, Hamilton was left to rue his exit as he plummeted down the grid order. Unable to take any further part in the session, he ended the day in 16th spot, but will start 15th after Esteban Gutierrez's penalty is taken into account.
“I can't believe it obviously, but things like this happen and, for whatever reason, are sent to try us,” he sighed, “The guys worked really hard over the evening and were up really late last night. We had done such a great job with the set-up... it felt fantastic out there and I didn't even get to do five laps!”
Hamilton was quick to absolve his crew of any blame for the incident, despite detailed brake inspections having taken place prior to the session, but conceded that the lowly starting spot was a setback so soon after closing the gap on Rosberg at Silverstone.
“Obviously, Nico has basically got another gift, but we'll do what we can tomorrow,” he said, “We'll figure something out – there's still a decent amount of races to go...”
Interesting, there was no concern of a repeat of the problem on Rosberg's car as the German prefers Carbon Industrie discs where Hamilton opts for Brembo. It is unlikely that the Briton will swap manufacturers ahead of the race.