WATCH: Lewis Hamilton forced to retire from the Singapore GP
Mercedes driver suffers first race retirement in over a year
Last Updated: 20/09/15 7:18pm
World champion Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire from the Singapore GP after his Mercedes car suffered a throttle failure.
Hamilton was running in fourth, with an outside shot of victory, when he first reported a loss of power which reduced his speed along the Marina Bay straights by up to 40kmh.
After a series of unsuccessful 'reboots' of his ailing car, Hamilton plummeted down the field and out of the points before retiring.
"I was feeling super-optimistic. I was on the prime tyres and the three cars in front were on the options but I was easily keeping up with them and thinking 'we have a race on our hands'," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
"The car was feeling nice and I was just waiting for the moment when I could push but then I lost power. They were telling me to change all these things but I was overtaken by the two Manors so I knew l was last. When they started to pull away, I knew it was over."
It's understood that the problem originated within Hamilton's engine rather than his actual throttle pedal and Mercedes subsequently reported that Hamilton's issue had been 'diagnosed as a loss of boost pressure caused by the failure of a clamp between the intercooler and plenum'.
With six races remaining, Hamilton's championship lead has been trimmed to 41 points by Nico Rosberg after the German finished fourth in Singapore. Sebastian Vettel, who led from start to finish at Marina Bay, is now also within 50 points of the summit.
"There is the small positive of closing the gap but the big issue is that it has been such a disappointing weekend - to be so far off the pace and not understand," rued Rosberg. "We just have to hope that the next track comes towards us. I'm relatively confident because of the past but today has been very worrying."
Don't miss the F1 Midweek Report on Wednesday night at 8.30pm when John Watson and Maurice Hamilton join Anna Woolhouse to discuss the Singapore GP