Hamilton was forced to start from last on the grid after being excluded from qualifying in Sao Paulo because of a DRS technical breach following an issue with his rear wing.

The Mercedes driver cut his way through the field, including a spectacular last-lap lunge on Norris into Turn 1.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the sprint race on Saturday, Norris was shown footage of Hamilton’s overtake on him, where he replied: “Looks pretty easy for him, doesn’t it?

“He’s not even had to work. It wasn’t that good of an overtake. I just didn’t need to take any stupid risks trying to defend – he’s in a different league compared to us.”

Later on, Norris admitted that he has no intention of defending from Hamilton in the grand prix - even though Hamilton qualified fifth in the sprint, he’s set to start from tenth after serving a grid penalty for an engine change.

“No point wasting any of my own tyres trying to keep this guy behind me,” he added. “If he has gone from last to fifth in 24 laps then he should have three wheels on his car or something to make it a little bit harder for him.”

Norris was pleased with his own performance in sprint qualifying, overtaking Charles Leclerc into Turn 4.

“I think it was a good race for me,” Norris explained. “I was happy with today, ahead of the Ferrari which was one of our jobs, another one would have been lovely, but he [Sainz] was too far ahead.

“I was pretty shocking in FP2 earlier and just not driving very well, but with my driving I made some improvements for the race and it definitely paid off in terms of the pace against Charles, so I’m happy, I’m smiling at least.”