Lewis Hamilton dramatically turned on his Mercedes team by appearing to hint at a conspiracy theory after his bid for a fourth championship was hit by another engine failure.
Hamilton was on course to cruise to the 50th victory of his career in yesterday's Malaysian Grand Prix and move clear of his sole rival Nico Rosberg 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 whose team-mate Max Verstappen followed him home to seal Red Bull's first one-two finish in nearly three years. Rosberg, who fought back from last position following a first-corner collision with Sebastian Vettel, finished third to move 23 points clear of Hamilton with just five races remaining.
While Hamilton, whose title defence has been plagued by a number of engine failures, later insisted he had "100 per cent faith" in Mercedes, his comments in the immediate aftermath of his retirement hinted at a suggestion of foul play.
"Something or someone doesn't want me to win this year," Hamilton said. "We are fighting for the championship and only my engines are failing."