Hamilton took a 10-place grid penalty at the Turkish Grand Prix after Mercedes decided to change his ICE (internal combustion engine) in a bid to combat its ongoing reliability concerns.

Hamilton has been more fortunate than Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who has taken penalties at three races (Monza, Russia and USA) for new engine components.

On Thursday, there have been a number of reports hinting that Hamilton is set for a fifth ICE which will incur a five-place grid penalty.

With the F1 sprint making a return for this weekend at Interlagos, the penalty would be applied for Sunday’s grand prix so Hamilton would be free to fight for the maximum three points in the shorter Saturday race.

Speaking in the drivers’ press conference in Sao Paulo, Hamilton said: “I can’t really comment at the moment. I don’t think the engines have even arrived this morning. As far as I am aware currently my engine is fine.

“I will find out obviously later on. We’ve not even done an engineering [meeting] yet.”

Max Verstappen extended his lead over Hamilton to 19 points following his comfortable Mexico City Grand Prix victory.

Hamilton expects Red Bull to be very strong in Brazil again after it won in 2019 and was on course to win in 2018 as well until Verstappen collided with Esteban Ocon, who was getting lapped at the time.

“Their pace was obviously phenomenal in the last race,” Hamilton added. “They’ve had a strong car all year, they’ve had the strongest car, you can tell. I think we’ve done as good as I think we could. We are definitely going to be pushing this weekend to see if we can squeeze any more from out of the car.

“Last time here they were incredibly strong so we anticipate again they will be very hard to beat this weekend. When there’s a will there’s a way hopefully.”