"While I wanted to keep going," Hamilton said in Australia, "we had to play safe and save the engine."
But it appears that Mercedes' efforts to 'save' the turbo V6 'power unit' have at least paid off.
The Mirror newspaper reports that the 2008 world champion, whose teammate Nico Rosberg is leading the drivers' standings, has not yet lost the Melbourne-specification engine from his allocation for the season.
"The fortunate thing is that we did stop when we did," Hamilton said in Kuala Lumpur, explaining that "something went wrong with the wiring" in Australia.
"I didn't want to stop I have to say," he admitted. "The car was going but not very fast. I am keeping my fingers crossed and I think it (the engine) is going to be usable."