After clearing Daniel Ricciardo through the pit stop phase, Hamilton was unleashed and began his pursuit of race leader Norris.

Hamilton cut the gap to just over a second before the rain started to fall in the closing stages.

Mercedes called Hamilton in for intermediates, while Norris stayed out in the hope it wouldn’t continue raining.

It proved to be the correct decision as Norris struggled on his slick tyres, losing a considerable amount of time as he ultimately dropped to seventh.

Reflecting on his 100th grand prix victory and battle with Norris, Hamilton said: “Lando did such an amazing job,” Hamilton said. “He had incredible pace, he’s doing such a great job for McLaren. It’s very bittersweet to see my old team ahead, them doing so well, they won the last race, they’re doing fantastic, obviously powered by Mercedes.

“It’s good to see them united again. Obviously, the team made a great call right at the end. I didn’t want to let Lando go, of course.”

Hamilton admitted that it was unlikely he’d have overtaken Norris on track had it stayed dry.

“It would have been tough to have got past Lando - he had great pace, he did the fastest lap so it would have been tough to have got past unless we caught some traffic or if he made a mistake which he hasn’t been doing at all,” Hamilton added.

“Then the rain came and it was very opportunistic and I said the team did an amazing job so big, big thank you to them. Otherwise, there’s nothing I can do about whose behind me. That’s the dream for Max, naturally, but I am grateful for the points.”