Budapest: Lewis Hamilton risked losing his Formula One championship lead on Sunday after retiring from the Hungarian Grand Prix in only his second failure to score points this season.
The McLaren driver had started the day 14 points clear of fellow Briton and team mate Jenson Button and 21 ahead of Red Bull drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel with seven races remaining.
Australian Webber was leading the race and on course to take over from Hamilton at the top after 44 of the 70 laps, with Vettel third after starting on pole. World champion Button was back in ninth place.
Hamilton pulled over on lap 24, saying there was something wrong with the car. McLaren had expressed concern about his car`s brakes before the start but his retirement appeared to be unrelated to that.
"I went through Turn One and basically lost drive," he told BBC television. "I think the gearbox went. That`s motorsport. When you push cars to the limit these things can happen. We`ve lost a lot of points today."
Hamilton`s last previous retirement was in Spain in May, when he crashed out on the penultimate lap while in second place due to a wheel rim failure but was classified 14th.