Singapore: Formula One world championship leader Lewis Hamilton retired from the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday after encountering power problems in his Mercedes, halting his dominant run to a likely third world title.
The British driver, who had not suffered a retirement since Belgium last year, eventually drove into the pits at the end of lap 32 after his team failed to resolve the issue over six laps.
"I was feeling super optimistic and easily keeping up. I was hoping for a quick fix but it never came," the Briton, who was chasing a 41st career win to equal the mark of his idol Ayrton Senna, told the BBC.
Hamilton, the reigning world drivers` champion, was riding in fourth having picked up a place from his third row starting position when he complained over his team radio about issues with his car.
"Lost power guys, lost power," the 30-year-old said on lap 26 before tumbling down the field as his team tried in vain to figure out the cause of the problem.
The Briton fell to the back of the pack over the next laps before his team eventually called him in after the driver asked to be stopped.
"They (the team) were telling me to change all these things and then I was overtaken by two Manors so I knew I was last," he told Sky Sports. "When they started to pull away, I knew it was over."
Ferrari`s Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag for his 42nd career win, with Nico Rosberg fourth for Mercedes which allowed him to cut the gap on Hamilton to 41 points in the title race with six races remaining.
Vettel`s victory left the quadruple world champion 49 points behind Hamilton.
Hamilton has enjoyed mixed fortunes under the floodlights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, winning twice in 2009 and last year but also being forced to retire when leading in 2012 with former team McLaren.