Lewis Hamilton says he is concerned reliability could cost him this year's championship in the fight with team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Having crashed out of Q1 in Hockenheim with a brake failure, Hamilton also failed to make it out of the first part of qualifying in Hungary after a fuel leak caused his car to catch fire. On both occasions Rosberg went on to take pole position and – while Hamilton only lost a total of seven points compared to his team-mate in that time – he says reliability issues are likely to be the only thing that stops him winning the title.
“Sometimes there's one joke, there's another joke and sometimes it gets a little bit past that and obviously with the faults that we've had on my car, it's made it very difficult for this championship,” Hamilton said. “Fortunately I got some points [in Hungary] which means that I'm still there or thereabouts but the telling thing would be how my car performs through the rest of the year.
“Ultimately [reliability deciding the title] is a concern because I've stopped more than him. But there's still quite a few races to go and it will be telling, dependent on how ... Obviously I've got the pace, got the ability, just really whether or not the car holds up.”
And Hamilton admitted his enjoyment of coming through to third place in Hungary having started from the pit lane had been tempered by the knowledge that much more was possible.
“The car's been fantastic – when it's going. Obviously a lot of points lost, because we could have had a much better weekend but we have a lot of strengths to look forward to in future races.”