Lewis Hamilton says he will probably struggle to get into the top ten or top five in the Hungarian Grand Prix after a fire put him out of Q1 before he had managed to post a single time.

Hamilton had been hoping to fight back this weekend in Budapest and after setting the pace in all three practice sessions was the favourite to take pole. However, his qualifying session ended early on when a fuel leak forced him to slow and stop on the entry to the pits with flames pouring from the back of his Mercedes.

It was another blow for the Briton and with team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg going onto take pole position, he now stands to lose further ground in the title race. Hamilton is currently 14 points behind.

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"I honestly don't know what I can do tomorrow," Hamilton said immediately after. "You can't really overtake here. I think I will struggle to get into the top ten or the top five tomorrow. I will try my best, but will probably leave here now more than 20 points behind Nico. There is still races to go... but I don't really know what else to say. I will try my best [tomorrow]."

Speaking a bit later on, and asked how he will re-group now, he replied: "I don't know. I'll just do the same thing as I did last time. Obviously I didn't make any mistakes at least today. I just didn't get to do qualifying. It is a shame, especially when you know you do the practice sessions with not too many problems and then I didn't even get a lap this time. Last time I got maybe two laps [in Germany before my brakes failed]. I can't believe this has happened again. This is a track you can't really overtake on, so coming from last to the podium is a lot less likely."

"I am quite far back now. I don't anticipate getting that close up behind [Nico] this time [and getting third like I did at Hockenheim last Sunday]. But I will do what I can," he added.

Meanwhile, reflecting on the incident itself, he revealed that he first felt there was something wrong with the brakes, before the engine died and he then saw his car was on fire.

"There was an issue with the car as I was coming out of the second to last corner and then the engine just cut out," he explained. "I thought we could get it back to the garage but then I looked in my mirrors and saw the whole rear end was on fire and that was it. It is all pretty bad.

"Now we need to see what damage has been done to the car tonight and see whether the gearbox or engine needs to be changed."

"It's getting to the point where it's beyond bad luck now - as a team, we need to do better. Tonight, I need to somehow find the way to turn this into a positive for tomorrow, then build on that going into the race. But these things are sent to try us and how I come out of it is going to be the most important thing."

Hamilton will start Sunday's race from the pit lane after Mercedes confirmed the damage required a new chassis.