Hamilton’s incredible qualifying record ends at Monza

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Lewis Hamilton’s incredible record of sixty-seven consecutive top ten starts has come to a crashing end in Italy today after the British driver failed to make it out of Q2 for the first time since 2010.

Hamilton had comfortably made it through Q1, but he failed to get in a clean first lap in Q2 following a mistake on the exit of the high-speed Parabolica corner. After a run through the gravel, the Briton trailed pacesetter Sebastian Vettel by six seconds, but with time still left in the session he looked set to improve and do enough to make it into Q3. However, he could only go ninth with his first truly competitive time, and when the checkered flag fell he was stuck in the dropzone alongside former world champion Kimi Raikkonen. By failing to improve, Hamilton was left out of the top ten whilst more unlikely drivers such as Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg made it through.

Speaking to the BBC after qualifying, Hamilton said: “I just drove like an idiot, that’s the worst I’ve driven for a long, long time.”

However, he does believe that he was held up by Adrian Sutil during his final lap. Replays of the incident do appear to show the Force India driver causing Hamilton to slow down through Parabolica, costing the Mercedes some time. Although it may not have been a big incident, he only missed out on the top ten by two-tenths of a second.

The incident will be investigated by the stewards in Italy.

Hartley’s F1 grid penalty streak continues in Abu Dhabi

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Brendon Hartley’s record of receiving a grid penalty at every Formula 1 race he has started is set to continue in Abu Dhabi this weekend after Toro Rosso was forced to change part of his Renault power unit following the last race in Brazil.

Since making his F1 debut at the United States Grand Prix last month, Hartley has faced a grid drop at all three races he has started so far amid ongoing reliability difficulties for power unit supplier Renault.

After being forced to retire from the last race in Brazil two weeks ago due to an engine issue, Hartley has received a 10-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi after it was confirmed Toro Rosso had changed the MGU-H on his power unit.

Hartley is yet to score any points in F1, having retired from two of his three races so far to make his debut run to P13 in Austin his best result to date.

The Toro Rosso driver finished 20th in FP1 and 19th in FP2 during Friday’s practice sessions in Abu Dhabi as he continued to get to grips with the Yas Marina Circuit.