Has a World Champion ever endured such an ignominious start to a season?
Already suffering the indignity of being relieved just to sneak through to the second round of qualifying, Lewis Hamilton's woes were compounded by a failure on his McLaren forcing him to retire even before Qualy Two had begun.
At the time of writing, Hamilton is listed as 15th for the start of the Australian GP. However, if the "drive failure" that resulted in his early exit from Saturday's proceedings requires the remedy of a gearbox change then he would suffer the demotion of five grid slots and start his first race as World Champion in last place.
To his credit, Hamilton sought to put a brave face on his predicament, but there can be no disguising the simple reality that McLaren are way off the pace.
"I'm happy we made it through [to second qualifying] but something has gone wrong on the back of the car," he reported through a forced smile.
Source : Planet F1