The top three held their original starting positions on the opening lap before the race was neutralised by a Safety Car when Kimi Raikkonen lost his front wing on the main straight after a clash with Alfa Romeo teammate Antonio Giovinazzi and ended up in the Turn 1 gravel.

Hamilton was caught napping at the restart by Verstappen, with the Red Bull driver taking full advantage of a great run to sweep past the Mercedes driver at Turn 1 and move into second place.

The seven-time world champion admitted he was “not happy” with his error after the race, having revealed he had been momentarily distracted by focusing on teammate Valtteri Bottas ahead.

“I lost position, that’s what happened!” Hamilton jokingly responded when asked what had happened.

“It was interesting because I was focusing naturally on Valtteri and literally just for a split-second I looked in my mirror just to see where Max was, and in that split-second, that’s when Valtteri went, so I lost out to Valtteri. So that wasn’t great!

"Then I was in Valtteri’s tow and he was about to pull out, so I pulled out, and gave Max Valtteri’s tow, and I was like ‘you idiot’ to myself [laughs].”

But Hamilton soon made amends by diving down the inside of Verstappen’s Red Bull a few laps later, before pulling off a spectacular pass on Bottas around the outside of Turn 1 en route to claiming his 97th career victory in F1 at Portimao.

“That was such a tough race,” Hamilton added. “Physically and mentally, just keeping everything together. It was very windy out there, very easy to put a foot wrong

“I think Max made a mistake at some point through the lap, which was like perfect, because I knew that was going to be the lap that I could be as close as I could be to him in the last sector.

“With Valtteri, I had to make the move early on before the tyres were destroyed. I managed to just get him into Turn 1, just right on the limit. A great race.”