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.