Hamilton feeling 'helpless' over Mercedes troubles


Lewis Hamilton will start from 10th on the grid at Sunday's Russian Grand Prix and the defending Formula One champion is desperate to get a good start.

It was a familiar story of struggle for Hamilton in qualifying on Saturday, as his Mercedes experienced the same power issues that saw him start the Chinese GP from last.

Hamilton managed to finish seventh on that occasion, and he will at least start in the middle of the field in Sochi on Sunday as he attempts to challenge pole-sitter and team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg holds a 36-point lead over Hamilton in the standings, and has not suffered from any of the Briton's mechanical problems on his way to claiming victory in all three races of the 2016 season.

"I don't know what the word is, I can't really describe what I feel right now - it's not a great feeling," said Hamilton.

"You're almost helpless at some points, we've worked so hard, with my mechanics and my engineers, to get the car in a great position this weekend.

"We had the great pace once again and this happens to us all unexpectedly.

"I feel helpless for my guys because there's not really much I can do to uplift them and there's not really much they can do to uplift me because it's already happened.

"The goal is moving further and further away in the distance. I'm doing everything I can do. There's nothing else I can do."

Hamilton can at least take heart from Rosberg's performance at this race two years ago, when he started last before working his way up to a second-placed finish.

"I'm just hoping to have a clean first lap and have a car in one piece to fight with people," Hamilton said.

"I don't think I've had one race this year with a full car after Turn 1 so that's what I'm hoping for.

"Nico started a way back a while ago, so it obviously is possible.

"I've not really had to do much overtaking here over the last few years so I don't know how difficult it is but I'm not a bad overtaker so it should be alright."