Hamilton dominated qualifying for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix as he took top spot by over four-tenths.

The seven-time champion’s pole for the sprint is under threat as he’s under investigation for a technical infringement relating to the DRS.

Horner was satisfied with second at Interlagos, saying it was the maximum result possible given Hamilton’s pace advantage.

“No, we saw from this morning that Lewis was very, very strong,” Horner said.

“That fresh engine is obviously pumping out some horsepower for them. I think second was the best we could hope for as I said in the quali so to be up there on the front row, we are OK with that.”

The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was 0.5s shy of his teammate, leaving Horner to suggest that Hamilton’s fresh engine was worth at least two-tenths of a second.

“It’s difficult for us to be able to predict that but if you look at the relative speed compared to Valtteri, it’s a couple of tenths,” Horner added.

“That’s obviously why they’ve chosen to take it here but it’s a sprint race that we’ve got tomorrow and we’ve got the quali coming off the back of that for the Sunday race.”

With conditions expected to be warmer on Saturday and Sunday, Horner is confident the change in temperature will play more into Red Bull’s hands.

“Let’s see in the race tomorrow. We’ve got a good race car. It’s going to get hotter through the weekend, the tyres are going to be a factor here, it’s obviously been pretty cool today. Let’s see in the race tomorrow.

“The race will be a different set of circumstances. He was talking about the front axle, it will probably be about the rear axle in the race tomorrow and particularly on Sunday with the hotter temperatures. I actually think we’ve got a pretty decent race car here so let’s see.”