Hamilton will take a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s grand prix after taking his fifth ICE of the season.

The seven-time champion dominated qualifying at Interlagos, beating Verstappen by over 0.4s.

Due to the structure of the sprint qualifying format, Hamilton will start the Saturday sprint race from pole position as he looks to limit the impact of the grid penalty.

“When they take a new engine naturally they have a bit more power for a weekend so for me it’s not a big shock,” Verstappen said.

“Like you said, I am just happy to be second - that’s a good position to start from. Of course, you always want to be closer but sometimes you just have to be realistic and there wasn’t much more in it.”

With Hamilton taking a grid penalty for the main grand prix on Sunday, Verstappen stressed there’s not much to gain in terms of championship points in the sprint.

“There are not that many points to gain in the sprint race,” he explained. “I hope of course to have a good first lap and see from there, then of course, the most important one is on Sunday.”

Even though Verstappen wasn’t entirely happy with the handling of his Red Bull, conditions are expected to be significantly warmer throughout the weekend, which could influence the balance of power at the front.

“It will be completely different anyways,” Verstappen added. “It will be a lot warmer so that will change the behaviour of the car as well so we will see.”