Lewis Hamilton is relishing the chance to fight at the front against the new generation of Formula 1 drivers following a dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix.

With 22-year-old Max Verstappen winning at Interlagos ahead of 23-year-old Pierre Gasly, Hamilton paid credit to the younger drivers he fought during the Brazilian race after apologising for hitting Alexander Albon which denied the 23-year-old his maiden F1 rostrum.

With Hamilton given a five-second time penalty for clashing with Albon, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was promoted on to the podium post-race which gave F1 its youngest-ever rostrum trio with the Spaniard just 25.

Along with the likes of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (22) and Lando Norris (20) at McLaren impressing this year, Hamilton expects F1’s youngsters to be his main challengers in the future.

“Naturally when you get older you look down on the younger drivers, it’s inevitable that the youngsters are going to come through,” Hamilton said. “There’s often a wave of young talent that manages to make its way through to Formula 1 and I think Formula 1’s got a lot of new young blood with a lot of potential and they really are the future of the sport.

“I think fortunately I feel that whilst the number shows a little bit higher, I feel like I’m able to still kick it with these guys.

“I’m excited for the future racing with these guys and as I’ve said, if we can get these teams to be closer then we’re going to see more awesome battles like today and I think that would be great.”

With Robert Kubica leaving F1 after his one-season comeback this year, Lewis Hamilton will become the second-oldest driver on the 2020 grid only behind Kimi Raikkonen.