Formula One: Lewis Hamilton out of Malaysian Grand Prix

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton of Britain returns to the paddock after his car caught fire during the 2016 Malaysia Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2016.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton of Britain returns to the paddock after his car caught fire during the 2016 Malaysia Grand Prix on Oct 2, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Sepang, Malaysia (AFP) - World champion Lewis Hamilton saw his Malaysian Grand Prix hopes go up in smoke when the engine of his Mercedes exploded into flames while leading with 15 laps remaining.

"No, no," cried the Englishman as flames appeared at the back of his car.

Championship leader Nico Rosberg was left in third place, looking all set to extend his eight-point championship lead over Hamilton.

The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were first and second respectively after Hamilton's disastrous engine failure.