Verstappen insisted there would be “no rematch” this weekend after Hamilton sensationally beat him in 2021.

The Mercedes driver started in P10 but first fought past Red Bull’s Sergio Perez then, at the third attempt, overtook his great rival Verstappen for the lead which he converted to a special victory.

What's next for Formula 1's Cost Cap? | F1 2022

"When I took second place from Perez, I saw Verstappen driving in the distance," Hamilton remembered.

"I saw that I was getting closer and closer. I thought 'is Max saving his tires, or is he just not that fast because I'm catching up'. 

“Little by little I got closer. Red Bull had a crazy fast engine in 2021 , certainly the fastest of them all.

"The first time I tried to overtake him, Max braked and went super, super deep. I would have made it into the corner if he hadn't gone off the track. I had to pull myself together and I thought 'I can't let him do this again'.

“The second time I touched his tail, going into the first corner I pretended to attack. 

“I made Max think I wanted to dive into the hole on the inside and he drove a defensive line. It made sure that his corner was sharper and I could take a nice, wide line and position myself much better into Turn 4. 

“On the straight I catapulted myself past him and took the lead.

“Perhaps this was one of my best races ever, at least as far as I can remember. It was amazing and one of the races I'm most proud of, looking at the setbacks we endured that weekend. proves that you should never, ever give up."

Verstappen won the championship soon after at the notorious 2021 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and has become this season’s champion amid the F1 cost cap row.

Hamilton enters Brazil this year having been made an honorary citizen.

He has just two chances left in 2022 to maintain his record of having a won an F1 race in each of his career seasons.