German Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton to start 14th after hydraulic failure

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Mercedes has outlined the cause of the failure that has left Lewis Hamilton facing starting the German Grand Prix from 14th on the grid.

Vettel's only German Grand Prix win came at the Nurburgring in 2013.

Vettel, meanwhile, took pole position in Hockenheim as he looks to pull away in the race for the title. He retired from the Austrian GP and got knocked off the track at the British GP.

Worse still, Vettel is going from pole.

The spokesman said it was important to stop the auto to prevent "heat soak damage" to the power unit as happened to teammate Valtteri Bottas during the race in Austria earlier this month. But definitely it was not Lewis' driving.

Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff says this was an important factor, strengthening the view that Bottas is effectively a No. 2 driver behind Hamilton.

"We have seen failures in Austria, not only on our cars but on other cars. It was not caused by the driver".

Moments after informing the team radio that his gears had stopped working, Lewis Hamilton jumped out of his auto and attempted to push it back to the pitlane as he desperately tried to avoid elimination in the first round of qualifying.

"[Lewis] will try and get as far up as possible", he said. So he stopped and knelt by the side of his vehicle, grabbing hold of it with one hand and lowering his head as if nearly in prayer.

"I gave it all, but unfortunately they were a bit too quick", he admitted. "I was gathering my breath", he later explained.

He made a mistake at Turn 12 on his first run that cost around three tenths after he hit the inside kerb, then couldn't quite find the pace on his second run.

Mercedes used to be the ultimate in reliability, dominating F1 with four straight drivers' and constructors' championships. He trails Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by eight points after 10 races. He claimed pole at Hockenheim in 2010 but was unable to win the race, something he hopes to rectify.

However, warning signs have been glaring like a beacon this season. The 2005/2006 World Champion wants and deserves a drive in a title-winning auto but a seat is not going to become available for him amongst the "big three" and the Spaniard deciding to draw his 17 year F1 career to a close at the end of 2018 looks inevitable.

"(Ferrari) haven't had the problems we've had.

"Toto is a great human being and a great manager", said Hamilton.

"There has understandably been a lot of interest and speculation around the whole process, so it's good to put all of that to rest and get this thing announced", Wolff said. The championship leader will start alongside Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes has much to work on, from the top down. "We need to catch up".

"We had a super auto, a great strategy and we did it at their home [race]".

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