Lewis Hamilton says he has “100 per cent faith” in his Mercedes team after being forced to retire from Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix with an engine failure.
Hamilton arrived in Malaysia trailing Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship by eight points, but looked poised to reclaim the lead when enjoying a 20-second buffer over the field at Sepang.
Hamilton’s hopes were ended when his engine failed at the beginning of lap 40, catching fire and forcing the Briton to retire.
After the race, Hamilton expressed his dismay at suffering yet another engine issue in 2016, having previously been affected in China and Russia.
“It definitely is tough to see all those points disappear when you’ve worked so hard to get them,” Hamilton told NBCSN.
“It’s a very odd feeling right now and be positive and say everything’s great. I’m the only one with Mercedes engines that have been failing this year out of all the engines, which doesn’t sit right with me.”
Hamilton later took to Facebook to post a message to his fans, expressing his support and faith in the Mercedes team.
“Today, the pain is indescribable, but I truly believe God never gives you more than you can handle,” Hamilton wrote.
“I want to say a huge thank you to the fans who stood on their feet in the blazing hot sun, or from their sofas at home, watching and supporting me this weekend. I’m so grateful.
“I have 100% faith in my team, they have worked so hard both at the track, and factory, and I want to say a HUGE thank you to them. I know we’ve had all these problems but it’s not how we fall, it’s how we get up.
“It’s not how we are in moments of comfort than define us, but how we are in the face of adversity. We are champions and that’s how we will move forward.
“I will, we will, NEVER give up!”
Hamilton heads to the next race in Japan trailing Rosberg by 23 points in the drivers’ championship.