Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix from 13th following a qualifying session to forget for the seven-time world champion in the United States.
Hamilton ended Q2 an eye-watering 1.1 seconds behind pacesetter Max Verstappen and two tenths down on team-mate George Russell, who progressed to the final phase.
Hamilton, who returned to the pits shaking his head, took aim at Mercedes for leaving him with too much to do at the Hard Rock Stadium.
“We left that way too late, guys,” he said over the radio. Hamilton trails team-mate Russell 4-1 in qualifying after the opening five rounds.
Hamilton started Saturday’s running on the backfoot following a near miss with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.
The British driver, 38, was on his first speedy lap of the afternoon when he was blocked by the Dane under braking at Turn 17.
Hamilton was forced to take evasive action, brushing the barriers in the process.
“Check the front wing”, said the Mercedes driver, who swiftly dived into the pits for repairs. “I just hit the wall.”
The incident will be investigated by the stewards.
Both McLarens failed to progress from Q1, with Lando Norris 16th and rookie team-mate Oscar Piastri last but one on another sobering evening for the British team.
The television feed immediately cut to McLaren CEO Zak Brown, whose pained expression was evident to see.
Williams driver Logan Sargeant, 22, who was raised in nearby Fort Lauderdale, will bring up the rear for his first F1 race on home soil.