Mercedes’ impressive straight-line speed performance in recent rounds has caught the attention of main rivals Red Bull.

After qualifying, Verstappen was seen inspecting the rear wing of Hamilton’s W12 - resulting in a €50,000 fine - with the Dutchman saying ‘there’s clearly something going on’ after qualifying.

Despite Red Bull’s suspicions, Horner says his team doesn’t intend to protest as it continues to analyse and understand the reasons behind Mercedes’ straight-line speed advantage.

“We won’t be protesting at this race,” Horner told Sky Sports. “It’s important to understand where the speed has come from. Obviously they’ve had a new engine here, they’re running Monaco levels of downforce.

“When he passed Max he was close to 30 kilometres quicker on that lap so it’s just something that we need to understand. It’s down to the FIA to police the sport and to govern it. We trust in them and their tests and their investigation.”

Hamilton won in Sao Paulo from 10th on the grid, overtaking Verstappen in spectacular fashion.

Given Mercedes’ advantage, Horner admitted that his driver had no chance of keeping the lead.

“It’s always hard to take a loss when you’ve led for as many laps but that was against expectation,” Horner added.

“I thought Max did a hell of a job to keep Lewis behind for as long as he managed. We saw yesterday the pace of that car was just unstoppable today. For us, damage limitation.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is unconcerned about a potential protest by Red Bull, telling Sky Sports after the race:

“I don’t care,” he said.

“The car is fully legal and we’re happy to drive it everywhere. You can say was it fully legal after the qualifying. We think it was but it failed this one test because the rear wing was broken, the flap was broken.”

Explaining Mercedes’ dominant form at Interlagos, he added: “I think we’re having a much less draggy car, the engine is fresh which makes a big difference, the concept is good in straight-line speed, which we had in the past. People are free to challenge that and protest, which may happen.

“We will offer them a rear wing to put it at home, in the library or cut it into a thousand pieces.”