Hamilton’s nightmare weekend ends with Mercedes failure

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Lewis Hamilton has followed Max Verstappen into retirement at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver has endured a difficult weekend, describing his Friday running as ‘one of the worst’ of his career before failing to reach Q3 in qualifying at Albert Park.

Brackley-based Mercedes opted to start Hamilton on soft tyres, giving him strategic differential compared to those around him, yet it was impossible to discover whether that would have worked as he ground to a halt on lap 16.

Hamilton slowed on the run from Turn eight towards the fast nine-10 chicane, pulling off to the side of the race track shortly after – the seven-time world champion reporting a power unit failure.

It triggered a short virtual safety car period – the first stoppage of the race.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen had already retired after his right rear caught alight in the opening laps.

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