Lewis Hamilton escaped an engine scare early in Q3 to qualify third for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Hamilton arrived in Monaco hopeful of kick-starting his championship bid and ending his poor run of form in the principality, having won there just once in Formula 1.
The Briton appeared to be in the fight for pole heading into the final stage of qualifying, only to report a loss of power on his Mercedes car in the pit lane.
While the rest of the drivers streamed out onto the track, Hamilton was wheeled back to his garage so the team could set to work on fixing the issue.
Mercedes confirmed to the media that Hamilton had suffered a fuel pressure issue that prompted the team to stop his car in the pit lane. Teammate Nico Rosberg had a similar problem that delayed his first run in Q3.
Hamilton made his one flying lap count to finish third in Q3 behind pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo and Rosberg, but felt pole was for the taking had it not been for the issue.
“It was a difficult qualifying, I don’t really know what to say at the moment,” Hamilton said.
“The good thing is that I did get out to do a lap at least, it wasn’t as bad as some races have been in that respect with the engine problems.
“I’m grateful to be up in third. Pole was there for the taking I think, but nevertheless I’ll do what I can in the race to salvage what I can from today’s result.”
The Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBC from 7:30am ET on Sunday, with F1 Countdown beginning on NBCSN at 7am ET.