Just at the British three-time World Champion was taking the fight to his teammate Nico Rosberg for the first time this season, in what looked like being a tight battle for pole position, Lewis Hamilton found himself with another car failure during qualifying, which will see him start the race from tenth at best.
The Mercedes driver is believed to have had the same MGU-H failure as in China, although coming later in the qualifying session. It was highlighted by him going out for another run during Q2 on a new set of the supersoft tyres, despite the team having a commanding lead over the rest of the field.
He remains calm though, almost emotional about the challenges, “It’s obviously not a great feeling to be on the sidelines again – but that’s life.
“I knew there was a problem and that it was probably the same failure that I had in China pretty much straight away. I went out for a second run in Q2 to get a feeler lap and felt the same power loss as last time. When it happened in Shanghai it was something we hadn’t seen before and now unfortunately it’s happened again, so we need to understand it.
“I’ve never been superstitious about these things, though, and I never will be. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I’ll move on and look ahead to the race.
“I don’t know where I’m going to start yet – we’ll wait to see how that unfolds. But I never give up and I’ll give it all I’ve got to recover whatever I can in the race, like always. It’s not an easy track for overtaking.
“With the levels of tyre degradation and it being so tough to follow here, it’s not going to be easy to make my way forward. But there are long straights and we’ve got good pace, so if I can keep the car in one piece I’ll be fighting for decent points I’m sure.”