Bottas gambled on the soft tyre for the F1 sprint and used his advantage to launch past the medium-shod Verstappen and snatch the lead on the short blast to Turn 1. 

From there, the Finn controlled proceedings and kept Verstappen at bay to take pole position for Sunday’s grand prix and claim the maximum three points on offer to keep Mercedes ahead of Red Bull in the constructors’ championship. 

Verstappen also fell behind the fast-starting Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who pulled off a great move into Descida do Lago as Verstappen ran wide, but the Dutchman fought back to clear Sainz using DRS along the main straight three laps later. 

Verstappen hunted down Bottas but ultimately fell just over a second shy at the end of the 24 lap sprint, though two points for second place has seen him extend his championship lead over Hamilton. 

Sainz turned in a superb drive to hold off Sergio Perez’s Red Bull in a brilliant battle over third place. 

But the performance of the day went to Hamilton, who charged through the field to gain 15 places in just 23 laps as he recovered from his qualifying disqualification to take a hard-fought fifth. 

Hamilton scythed his way through the order, pulling off a daring lunge on Lando Norris’s McLaren to snatch fifth place on the penultimate tour with his best overtake of the race. 

It limits the damage to Hamilton’s fading title hopes, with the seven-time world champion set to start Sunday’s grand prix from 10th once his five-place grid penalty is applied following his engine change. 

Birthday boy Norris took sixth ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, while a poor start cost Pierre Gasly as the AlphaTauri fell from fifth to eighth. 

Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel completed the top 10 for Alpine and Sebastian Vettel respectively.