Lewis Hamilton has spoken about his pain after his engine blow out while leading the Malaysian Grand Prix which has seen him slip to 23 points behind in the F1 world title race but is focusing on bouncing back at Suzuka.
The Mercedes driver suffered a dramatic exit 16 laps from the end in Sepang while leading which saw Red Bull claim a 1-2 finish while main title rival Nico Rosberg recovered from a first turn spin to take third and with it a healthy points lead.
Immediately after the race Hamilton expressed his disbelief that only his Mercedes engines were failing this season, which sparked speculation of sabotage that was quickly shot down by the German manufacturer, but the British driver is now considering skipping practice sessions in order to ensure the life of his two remaining engines.
READ: Lauda calls Mercedes sabotage claims 'ridiculously stupid'
The defending F1 world champion says the disappointment still sits with him and the team, despite highlighting it isn't the worst ebb he's been at in his career, and has underlined the scale of the task ahead if he is to overturn the 23-point deficit to Rosberg with five races remaining.
“Of course, last weekend was a massive disappointment,” Hamilton said. “Not just for me personally but for the whole team. But there's no use dwelling on these things. That's just negative energy.
“All we can do is focus on the next race, taking things one step at a time and doing the best job we can. There's no substitute for hard work and I've never been afraid of that.
“The guys are hurting from what happened too and I know they'll be working just as hard to get things right next time. It's not the lowest point I've had. There have been lower moments for sure. Regardless, I will find strength from within to fight back over these next five race weekends. If I can perform like I did last weekend and the car holds together, then good things can still come my way.”
Looking towards the Japanese Grand Prix, the three-time winner of the event is aiming to feed off the energy of the local fans and return to his form generated over the Sepang race weekend when he dominated qualifying and had looked comfortable for the victory before his engine gave up.
READ: Hamilton coud skip sessions as engine confidence wavers
“I love the Suzuka circuit and I've been quick there for the past two years, so hopefully that trend will continue,” he said. “I know I'll have some fantastic support in the grandstands to lift me up and give me that extra boost.
“The energy from the fans in Malaysia was the best I've ever seen there and now we're going to Japan, where they just seem to find another level every year. It's insane how crazy they go for the sport and I get a real buzz out of that. Fingers crossed I can make it happen to pay them back for all the love and strength they send my way.”
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