Lewis Hamilton believes his car failed before he went off in F1 qualifying

Lewis Hamilton believes his car's hydraulics had failed before he ran wide at Turn 1 during qualifying for the German Grand Prix

Although a heavy clout across the kerbs on the exit initially appeared to have caused the hydraulic issues that stopped him during Q1 to leave him 14th on the grid, the world champion says his steering had already lost power on the entry.

Asked by Sky if the kerb strike had caused the problem, Hamilton said: "No, we use the kerb the same every lap.

"We got to the kerb and just before the kerb the steering broke, so that was the issue."

Hamilton Q1 failure reaction worries Rosberg

Despite coming from the back of the field to finish second at Silverstone a fortnight ago, the Briton is not convinced a repeat charge is on the cards this time out.

"At a track like this not really, no," he said. "This is one of the worst ones for overtaking. I will do what I can from there.

"These things happen, all you can do is try to gather your thoughts, put your energy, any negative energy, whatever energy you have and put it towards trying to do your best next day.

"Live to fight another day, another opportunity to rise - I'll try, I'll give everything tomorrow to see how high I can get up, but it's not going to be like Silverstone."

Following a post-session investigation, Mercedes confirmed Hamilton's verdict was correct.

A statement from the team said: "We had the failure at Turn 1 as Lewis ran the 'normal' kerb which all the drivers use in that stage of qualifying.

"Then, with failed power steering as a result of the hydraulic failure, he had the 'jumping' moments that were seen on TV and which people understandably thought might have been the cause of the issue - but were in fact a consequence of it."

Although Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas secured a spot on the front row of the grid, Wolff said Mercedes was lacking against Ferrari on both the car and engine front.

"It was a mega lap, particularly the last sector," he said. "He put it all together but it was at the moment not good enough performance wise.

"We just need to get the car and the engine on to a higher level.

"We are losing on the straights but I don't want to sound sore about it. We just need to improve."

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