|© AP Photo/Michael Probst
Lewis Hamilton’s chances of reducing his deficit in the title chase this season got a lot tougher following a penalty the Briton incurred at the German Grand Prix on Sunday.
Trailing teammate Nico Rosberg by four points in the championship ahead of the weekend, Hamilton’s hopes of erasing the gap were wiped out after he crashed out during the first leg of qualifying on Saturday due to a brake failure.
He was scheduled to start the race from 15th on the grid but the damage inflicted on his car forced Mercedes to change his gearbox. He incurs a five-place grid penalty as a result and will now start 20th.
"Whenever the (start) lights go out, I'm always thinking of finishing the race first and that's always my target but I'd have to be smoking something to think that I could really get to first," he admitted.
Hamilton, nevertheless, is determined to “drive through the field” and limit the damage on Sunday.
"Even if I can get one point, hopefully that point can make a difference at the end of the year," he pointed out.