Mercedes have confirmed that a failure on Lewis Hamilton’s car was the cause of his spin in the final part of qualifying, denying him a shot at pole position in Abu Dhabi today.
Although Hamilton did not appear to have the pace to match pole-sitter Mark Webber or second-placed Sebastian Vettel, the Briton did not get a chance to better his time after he spun off the track at turn twelve. The team has now confirmed that this was a result of a failure on the car.
Speaking after qualifying, team principal Ross Brawn said: “It now appears there was a technical problem which we will investigate fully when the car returns.” This has now been diagnosed as a wishbone failure.
“We can now confirm that a right-rear wishbone failed on Lewis’ car,” read a tweet from Mercedes’ official account. “We hope to repair the damage under parc ferme.”
Relying that the team is permitted to repair the damage without incurring a grid penalty, Hamilton will be able to start tomorrow’s race from fourth place. The Briton felt that he could have reached the front row had it not been for the wishbone failure, but he remains optimistic heading into the race tomorrow.
“It was a great lap and might just have been enough to get us onto the front row as I was fourth-tenths up on my first effort but these things happen,” Hamilton said. “The car felt really strong today so we’ll hope for a good start and then challenge to make up some positions in the race tomorrow.”
Mercedes will be hoping to capitalize on outqualifying both Lotus and Ferrari in Abu Dhabi as the three teams battle for second place in the constructors’ championship.