Hamilton limps out of German qualifying

Hamilton says failure came before running wide			Image by Sam Bloxham  LAT

The four-time world champion penned a new deal with Mercedes until 2020, when the current set of F1 regulations end.

Denmark's Kevin Magnussen made the most of Hamilton's absence from the final phase by putting his Ferrari-powered Haas into fifth place with French team mate Romain Grosjean sixth.

This year marks the first in the turbo-hybrid era where Mercedes haven't dominated as in the last four years - Hamilton trails title rival Sebastian Vettel by eight points heading into this weekend's German GP.

"Stop, stop, stop, stop", Mercedes told him with some urgency.

Asked if the other team was Ferrari, he said: "You can make whatever assumption you want". "Maybe they will, maybe they won't", Hamilton said.

"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.

In the immediate aftermath of the British Grand Prix when being congratulated on his third-placed finish 38-year-old Raikkonen said in his distinctive robotic voice: "Obviously I did the best I could but there seems to be some opposite views on what I'm doing unfortunately, so we'll see". I hope when we do the job this weekend, it won't be focused on whether we did it on their home ground or anything like that.

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In rejoining, he struck the rumble strip at the exit of the corner, which kicked the auto up and appeared to cause the problem that manifested itself on the run to Turn 2 - although he reportedly subsequently said the problem had appeared before this moment. I'm not talking to anyone else.

"It's a shame to see him go out, and I mean it". Now we take the English flag and hang it in Maranello.

In confirming their line-up, Mercedes may prompt Daniel Ricciardo into signing on with Red Bull for another season and thus trigger a chain reaction of contract signings and moves.

Hamilton explained that he had agreed a basic contract by the time of the Monaco Grand Prix in late May, but subsequent delays were due to his own preoccupation with details. I can't control what's just happened. We prepared the auto well and everything went smoothly.

"I think today is definitely one of the best moments". I wasn't expecting to be as excited as I am. "I am also very conscious of how long it is beyond retirement".

The world champion will start Sunday's race at Hockenheim from 14th place - 13 spots behind pole-sitting title rival Sebastian Vettel - after a hydraulics fault at the end of Q1 triggered a power steering failure and meant he had to stop his auto on track.

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