Norbert Haug on Saturday evening admitted "it is possible" world champion Lewis Hamilton will begin the defence of his 2008 world title from dead last.

Norbert Haug on Saturday evening admitted "it is possible" world champion Lewis Hamilton will begin the defence of his 2008 world title from dead last.

Hamilton, the reigning champion, wrestled his uncompetitive McLaren through to the 'Q2' qualifying session at Albert Park.

But a gearbox problem meant he could not take part in the remainder of the session, leaving the Briton provisionally just fifteenth on the grid, one place behind his teammate Heikki Kovalainen.

And it could get even worse for Hamilton, with Mercedes' Haug admitting "it is possible" the gearbox will have to be replaced overnight.

According to F1's long-life rules, a five place grid penalty applies for an unscheduled gearbox change.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said the failure was "probably a broken dog ring but we'll have to investigate it to know for sure".

 

 

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