VIDEO: Vettel only able to qualify P10 due to gearbox problem

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Sebastian Vettel’s nightmare weekend in Spain went from bad to worse during qualifying as a gearbox problem forced him to park up in Q3.

The German driver managed just four laps during practice on Friday due to an electrical problem, but he appeared to have not lost out too badly as he made up for it with some running duringΒ FP3 on Saturday morning.

However, after exiting the pits for his first run during Q3, Vettel immediately slowed and eventually parked his car at the side of the road at turn three. He was nearly hit by Lewis Hamilton, who had just started his flying lap, but the German driver could not really move out of the way given his problem.

As a result, Vettel will start in 10th place for the race tomorrow, but should he require a new gearbox on his car, he will drop a further five places on the grid and most probably start down in 15th.

Had he not been sidelined, Vettel would most probably have qualified on the second row of the grid alongside teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Despite Red Bull having high hopes of cutting into Mercedes’ lead at the front, it appears that the status quo has been maintained. Ricciardo finished some eight-tenths of a second behind Rosberg in third place, and he will start just ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

Vettel’s demise will undoubtedly leave him questioning his championship chances in 2014, especially in the wake of Mercedes’ incredible start to the season. However, the Red Bull car underneath him is certainly capable of reaching the podium this weekend, and he will be hoping for a bit of good luck in the race tomorrow to make it happen.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home ofΒ Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.