The seven-time world champion was knocked out after only managing to set the 16th-fastest time in his Mercedes during the opening segment of qualifying in Jeddah. 

Hamilton struggled for pace throughout the first session but briefly improved to 15th, only to be knocked back into the danger zone when Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll turned in a quicker lap right at the end of Q1. 

It marks the first time that Hamilton has been knocked out in Q1 since the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix when he crashed. 

On pure performance alone, it is the first time Hamilton has failed to progress into Q2 since Silverstone 2009. 

"So sorry guys," Hamilton told his team over the radio when he was informed of the result. 

He told Sky Sports: "I struggled with the balance of the car. It’s not where I want to be."

Hamilton denied that he was distracted by the worrying build-up to qualifying, which included a late-night drivers' meeting on Friday where they discussed safety following a missile attack in Jeddah. 

"We are professional," he said. "We block out whatever we need to.

"Something went wrong in the set-up."

Mercedes teammate George Russell was able to advance into Q2 holding a comfortable buffer over Hamilton. 

Mick Schumacher 'conscious' after huge crash

Mick Schumacher has been taken to hospital for precautionary checks following a terrifying crash during Formula 1 qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

Schumacher suffered a violent shunt into the barriers at the high-speed Turn 12 with five minutes left in Q2, causing the session to be immediately red-flagged. 

The German was conscious and talking to the on-site doctor when he was extracted from his destroyed Haas car, before being taken to the circuit medical centre. 

Sergio Perez on pole position

Red Bull's Sergio Perez produced a stunning late lap in qualifying to beat the Ferraris and claim his first-ever Formula 1 pole position for Sunday's race.