The British driver wasn’t able to register a time before the disaster struck and Hamilton will start Sunday’s Grand Prix from the back of the grid.
I tried to stop but the brakes weren’t working, the car’s kind of rolling forward, the engine’s kind of sometimes working or not working, so it’s all pretty bad
His team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg secured pole and has the opportunity to increase his 14-point lead, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas took second and third.
“The engine just died,” said Hamilton.
“I thought I’m right next to the pit entry, so I’ll roll back and at least get them to fix it. And then I looked in my mirrors and it was on fire.
“The team said [over the radio] stop, stop, stop. I tried to stop but the brakes weren’t working, the car’s kind of rolling forward, the engine’s kind of sometimes working or not working, so it’s all pretty bad.”
Despite being handed a title boost, Rosberg was disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to take on Hamilton from the front of the grid.
“I would prefer to be out there battling with Lewis and that would give me the maximum adrenaline rush,” said Rosberg.
“Of course I’m happy, but that takes away some of the ecstasy.”
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes 1:22.715
2. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull 1:23.201
3. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes 1:23.354
4. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 1:23.391
5. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1:23.909
6. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes 1:24.223
7. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.294
8. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault 1:24.720
9. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1:24.775
10. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.585
11. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault 1:24.706
12. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.136
13. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 1:25.211
14. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.260
15. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1:25.337
16. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari 1:27.419
17. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 1:26.792
18. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Caterham-Renault 1:27.139
19. Max Chilton Briton Marussia-Ferrari 1:27.819
20. Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault 1:28.643
21. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes No time
22. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault No time
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BIOGRAPHY: Cesc Fabregas