Date: 19th July 2014 at 7:01pm
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Lewis Hamilton came away relatively unscathed from a qualifying shunt in Germany this afternoon.

But whilst he suffered only bruising to his knees, his Formula One World Championship chase took a severe knock.

The Mercedes driver crashed during the opening stint of qualifying, once again the Brit suffered brake failure, this time it was his right-front brake disc which failed sending him hard into the barriers at Sachskurve at 130mph.

He had already set a time to get through that stage of the session which left him qualifying in 16th place for Sunday’s German Grand Prix.

With Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez serving a three-place grid penalty for his Silverstone crash with Pastor Maldonado that would theoretically had bumped Hamilton to 15th, but with his Mercedes suffering a lot of damage it looks more likely that Hamilton will have to start the race from the pit-lane.

If Hamilton is forced into a pit-lane start his chances of climbing up through the field to minimise the damage in the points chase will be hampered.

Hamilton has enjoyed excellent starts at recent races, but missing the chance to jump a few places in the early corners of the laps will really dent his chances of a good points finish.

?Whenever the lights go out, I?m always thinking of finishing the race first, that?s always my target. But I?d have to be smoking something to think I could really get to Nico,? Hamilton told Sky Sports.

?He?s on pole position, he?s got no-one in front of him, so by the third or fourth lap he?ll be several seconds up the road and as I?m starting last, I could be a good 30 or 40 seconds behind.

?I don?t know where I?m starting ? if I?m starting 16th or starting in the pitlane. We?ll find out.?