An impressive first stint on the medium tyres allowed Sainz to move up from 12th on the grid to seventh after the first round of pit stops.

Once the Spaniard dispatched Lance Stroll on Lap 45 into Turn 4, Sainz started his pursuit of Lando Norris in fifth.

As he started to catch Norris, Sainz closed back up to Hamilton, who had lapped him earlier in the race.

The Spaniard spent several laps behind the seven-time champion before being let past into Turn 4.

Reflecting on being stuck behind the Mercedes, Sainz was frustrated he didn’t try to get past sooner as he felt he had the race pace to catch Norris for fifth.

“We managed to have a very strong first stint on the medium, overcut pretty much the whole midfield with pretty good pace and then a very weird scenario because I was on very fresh hards, I had Lando in front that I knew I could catch with clean air but suddenly I found myself behind Lewis and I doubted for five, ten laps whether to follow him and try to catch Lando but suddenly I realised Lewis was struggling a bit with the tyres, I was much quicker and I had to un-lap myself,” Sainz told Sky Sports F1.

“By the time I unlapped myself, it was too late to go and catch Lando.”

Sainz is unsure if he’d have been able to make a move on his former McLaren teammate but is sure there would have been “a good fight”.

“At least a good fight,” Sainz added. “I think it would have been great fun to catch Lando in the last five laps.

“Yeah because the most difficult bit was done, to overtake the whole midfield and now I had a fresh set of hards to catch Lando and suddenly I spent 15 laps behind Lewis, scrubbing my fronts in the high speed just trying to get within DRS to see if he for some reason let me by. In the end, they did actually, in the end, they behaved like gentlemen, like Mercedes always behaves and they let me by but it was a bit too late.”