Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was declared the winner of a race that lasted just two laps behind the Safety Car after over three hours of delays and was red-flagged twice due to heavy rain and poor visibility.

Speaking in parc ferme after finishing third behind Verstappen and George Russell, seven-time world champion Hamilton praised fans who stayed put in their thousands all day despite the awful weather.

“I feel really sorry for the fans today,” Hamilton said.

“Obviously, it’s no one’s fault with the weather but the fans have been incredible today, just to stick with us this whole time and hold out for a potential race.

“They knew when they sent us out there that the track wasn't any better. It was just to do two laps behind the Safety Car, which is the minimum requirement.

“I really hope the fans get their money back today.”

In the media pen, Hamilton added: “The fans stayed out in the rain, they still had energy and created the atmosphere.

“They were robbed of a race today and I think they deserve their money back.

“Money talks, the two laps to start the race was all a money scenario. So everyone gets their money and I think the fans should get theirs back too because they didn’t get to come and see what they paid for.

"That wasn't a race today."

Hamilton - who has seen his championship over Verstappen lead cut to three points with half-points awarded - agreed the conditions were too dangerous to drive in but was disappointed not to have a proper race.

“It was tough,” he explained. “Couldn’t really see, five metres in front of you, the car disappears on the straights. To even know where the flashing light, you couldn’t even go flat-out because you didn’t know where they were.

“It’s a shame because I wanted to race and it could’ve been a good race if it hadn’t rained so hard.”