Hamilton snatched the lead from Verstappen at the start but the Red Bull driver was able to regain track position thanks to Red Bull pulling off an undercut by calling him in for an early first pit stop. 

Red Bull once again decided to pit Verstappen early during the second round of stops, with Mercedes deciding to run longer in the hope fresher tyres would enable Hamilton to catch and pass his rival in the final laps. 

But Verstappen held on with an impressive and measured drive to claim his eighth win of the season and extend his championship lead over Hamilton to 12 points going into the final five races. 

“Of course we lost out in the start, so we had to try and do something else,” Verstappen said after the race in parc ferme. 

“But the tyre wear is quite high around this track, so we did go aggressive. 

“I was not sure it was going to work. But the last few laps were fun. A bit sideways through the high speed corners but super happy of course to hang on.”

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Verstappen ultimately crossed the line just 1.3s clear of Hamilton, who cut an eight-second deficit during his charge in the final stint. 

“It was such a tough race,” Hamilton said. “I got a good start, gave it absolutely everything but at the end of the day they just had the upper hand this weekend.

“We couldn't really ask for more, but a big, big thank you to my team for great pitstops, great hard work throughout the weekend.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admitted he didn’t think Verstappen would be able to hold on to the win. 

“I really didn’t think he was going to pull that off,” Horner told Sky. 

“Lewis [with] eight lap newer tyres, the first set of hards that came off, we were pretty much down to the canvas, and we were thinking we wouldn’t have much at the end left.

“Lewis, you know the end of the race, he’s so strong and he’s gone long, he’s bought himself and advantage.

“To lose a race in the last couple of laps would have been really painful. Max just held on, he did a brilliant job and had just enough at the end there.”