Although Lewis Hamilton completed a “tricky” Singapore Grand Prix weekend on the podium, his third place means the Brit’s advantage in the title race has become a deficit.
Hamilton struggled to match team-mate Nico Rosberg in both Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s 61-lap grand prix.
The reigning World Champion was unable to make up ground at the start while brake issues kept him behind Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo.
Running third for much of the grand prix, Hamilton came under attack from Kimi Raikkonen but Mercedes’ decision to pit him for a fourth time, one lap before the Ferrari driver, allowed Hamilton to undercut him and regain the podium position.
“A big congratulations to Nico, he drove fantastically well and full deserved the win,” Hamilton said.
“A very tough day but it always is in Singapore. This weekend has been a bit of a tricky one for me but I’m glad I could get back on the podium.”
As for the brake problems, which led to Hamilton informing Mercedes that he was unable to pick up the pace due to the overheating, the Brit says it was resolved late in the grand prix, but too late to allow him to fight for second never mind the win.
“My brakes, I was struggling with the brakes that were overheating so I had to slow down and watch the other guys pull away.
“I was looking at different ways to try and get them back under control.
“All of a sudden after I did my second, or third stop, my brakes were under control. But of course towards the end I still got a bit of heat in them.”
Hamilton’s third place in Sunday’s race coupled with Rosberg’s victory saw him lose the lead in the Drivers’ Championship to the German.
The Brit trails his team-mate by eight points but with 150 still in play.
“It is a lot different to when I was here last year,” Hamilton said of his standing in the championship.
“But all in all with everything that has gone on this year I’m still in the fight, still a long way to go and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”