|© AP Photo/Petr David Josek
Qualifying for the German Grand Prix was briefly halted on Saturday when Lewis Hamilton spun off the track and crashed into barriers at Turn 13 after what the team described as a "catastrophic" brake failure.
The British driver appeared to be unhurt but he ripped the nose off his Mercedes and took no further part in qualifying.
"I braked in the same place as I have been doing and I suddenly lost brake pressure – it took me by surprise and the failure spun the car into the wall," Hamilton explained. "It wasn't a great feeling when that happened, you just have to take your hands off the wheel and brace for the impact, but thankfully I'm okay."
Hamilton told his team that his brakes failed coming into the very sharp corner and Mercedes confirmed that a right-front brake disc failure was to blame. Replays showed the back of the car coming unsettled as he applied the brakes.
Hamilton was checked out at the medical centre and seemed relatively unscathed but sore.
"My legs are a little bruised but I will be fine to race; nothing is going to stop me getting in that car," he said.
Mercedes confirmed that it had fitted a new set of brake discs on Hamilton's car ahead of the qualifying session.
"It’s just not acceptable," said Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff, putting the blame on brake supplier Brembo.
Teammate Nico Rosberg, who grabbed pole position, said he wasn't worried about having the same issue with his brakes as both drivers' cars are fitted with different systems.
"I can't be too pleased about today because of the accident Lewis suffered, I'm glad he is fine," Rosberg said. "I would have preferred to have the normal fight for the pole with him. But I'm sure he will fly through the field as our car is still the quickest out there."
With inputs by F1 Pulse.