Sepang: Lewis Hamilton got off to a nightmare start at the Malaysian Grand Prix when mechanical problems forced him out of the opening practice session on Friday.
The world title-holder and early championship leader departed the Sepang track on the back of a moped after being told to halt his Mercedes W06 after 28 minutes.
"There was a click in the rear and the gears still worked but I just pulled over and stopped as you told me," Hamilton said over the team radio.
"I would have made it back (to the pits)."
Sparks were seen earlier from beneath Hamilton`s car and his team were unable to see telemetry data, prompting their cautious approach.
The British driver watched his car being lifted off the track by a crane before he was given a lift back to the pits on a race official`s moped.
Hamilton was the only driver not to set a lap time as new team Manor`s cars both emerged from the garage for the first time after mechanical problems sidelined them in Australia.
Manor`s Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi propped up the time-sheets 6.5 seconds slower than pace-setter Nico Rosberg, who clocked 1min 40.124 sec in his Mercedes.
Rosberg, second behind Hamilton at this month`s season-opener in Melbourne, led the way ahead of Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
Fernando Alonso, who missed Melbourne as he recovered from a crash in testing, was 14th fastest in his first drive since rejoining McLaren, ahead of team-mate Jenson Button in 17th.