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Ricciardo wins Malaysian Grand Prix as Hamilton suffers engine failure

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton walks back to his team garage after he retired from the Malaysian Grand Prix
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton walks back to his team garage after he retired from the Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton's bid to win a fourth championship is hanging in the balance after a cruel engine failure robbed him of victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was on course to cruise to the 50th victory of his career at a sweltering Sepang and move at least five points clear of his sole rival Nico Rosberg, who fought back to finish third following a first-corner collision with Sebastian Vettel, in the championship race.

But with 15 laps remaining, Hamilton's Mercedes engine blew up in the most dramatic of circumstances to hand victory to Daniel Ricciardo with his team-mate Max Verstappen following him home to seal Red Bull's first one-two finish in nearly three years.

Rosberg, who served what turned out to be a meaningless 10-second elapsed penalty following a banzai move on Kimi Raikkonen, is now 23 points clear of Hamilton with just five rounds remaining.

Hamilton's title defence has been plagued by a number of mechanical problems, and he swiftly demanded answers from his team.

"Someone doesn't want me to win this year," Hamilton said.

"My question is to Mercedes. We have so many engines made for drivers, but mine are the only ones failing this year. Someone needs to give me some answers because this is not acceptable.

"We are fighting for the championship and only my engines are failing. It does not sit right with me.

"I will try and recollect myself and try to get myself together for the race next week. There are many decisive races but this is one of those."

Hamilton's usual session with the written media was subsequently cancelled by Mercedes, with a team spokesperson citing a "mutual decision".