Lewis Hamilton says he can't be sure if or when the momentum in the F1 world championship battle will return his way having seen Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg take a hat-trick of wins and the points lead since the summer break.

With F1 race wins and momentum coming in waves in 2016 it appears Rosberg currently has the upper hand on his team-mate thanks to three straight wins in Belgian, Italy and Singapore.

At the start of the season Rosberg stormed into an early 43 point lead with four wins from four but after the pair collided in Spain Hamilton wrestled the wins back with six in the next seven races.

Since the summer break Rosberg has been flawless, partly boosted by Hamilton having to take a back of the grid penalty for engine changes at Spa, but heading to Malaysia the defending champion doesn't know when he can be confident of returning to the top step of the rostrum.

"I have no idea if the momentum will swing back to me or when it might," Hamilton said. "But we still have six races left, so I just have to keep giving it my all and hope for the best. That's all you can do as a sportsman.

"It's going to take some good results to get back in front and stay there - but I've had plenty of those in the past, so there's no reason to think they won't come back to me again.

"Sepang is my first shot at it and I'm really looking forward to getting out there. It's a track I usually go pretty well at - let's see how it goes."

Assessing his battle with Rosberg, the British driver did concede he was roundly beaten in Singapore last time out but feels with the different technical challenges Sepang poses it will count for little two weeks on.

"Singapore was a difficult weekend for me, so to come away with a podium in the circumstances was pretty good damage limitation," he said. "Ultimately, Nico did an exceptional job and I didn't have my best weekend. But that's the way it goes.

"Some weekends he does great, some weekends I do great. It's a combination of things that all come together to make a strong weekend and every one is different."

Rosberg leads Hamilton the F1 world championship by eight points with six rounds remaining.

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