Seastian Vettel will start at the back of the grid. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

HOCKENHEIM  Sebastian Vettel will start his home German Grand Prix at the back of the grid after Ferrari suffered turbo problems in qualifying on Saturday.

Monegasque team mate Charles Leclerc added to the Italian team's woes when he was sidelined in the final shootout for pole position, stepping out of his car without setting a timed lap.

Ferrari said Vettel, a four-times Formula One world champion, had suffered a problem with the air flow to the car's turbo.

Vettel, who started last year's race on pole position but crashed out while leading, has not won since the Belgian Grand Prix last August.

The German reported a loss of power on the radio shortly after he left the pits for his first run during the opening phase of qualifying.

"I don't know what happened," Vettel told Sky Sports television.

"Something broke with the turbo and it was game over from there. Obviously I'm very bitter, I think the car is great and we've lost out on a big chance but hopefully we'll have a big one coming again tomorrow.

"I'm looking forward to the race, but obviously it would have been nicer to start at the very front than the very back but we'll see what happens."

Vettel is fourth overall in the championship, 100 points adrift of Mercedes' rival Lewis Hamilton after 10 of the 21 races.

"He has enough experience to know there is still a chance tomorrow," said compatriot Nico Rosberg, the retired 2016 world champion for Mercedes. "He can make a good comeback if it does rain, chances are high.

"I think he'll settle down this evening and by tomorrow morning he'll be back on it and firing on all pistons."