Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton was knocked out of the opening phase of Saturday’s qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Briton, whose once-dominant Mercedes team have been wrong-footed by the sport’s radical new rules, could manage no better than the 16th quickest time, missing out on progressing into the second part of the session by 0.087 seconds.
He was 1.4 seconds off the fastest lap set by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and 0.6 seconds slower than new team mate George Russell, who was fourth.
“So sorry guys,” said Hamilton on the team radio as the news was broken to him.
The Brazilian Grand Prix in 2017 was the last time the 37-year-old failed to make it past the opening knockout phase.