Lewis Hamilton pulled off a stunning recovery drive to win Sunday’s grand prix in Brazil having fought his way past both Red Bulls after starting 10th on the grid following an engine change at Interlagos.

It came a day after Hamilton was forced to fight back from 20th to finish fifth in the sprint event after he was disqualified from qualifying for a wing-related issue on his Mercedes. 

Max Verstappen was ultimately powerless to stop Hamilton from taking his sixth victory of the season at Interlagos and reducing the Dutchman’s championship lead down to 14 points with three races to go. 

"It [the Mercedes] was unraceable," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports. “I think we put up as big a defence as we could. Max did his best, he raced hard, but there was just no chance.

"We have the highs of Mexico and Austin, and now a low here. But it is a tough one having led probably 75% of the race. 

“One week until the next one, so we will brush ourselves down and come back fighting in a week's time.”

Sergio Perez offered some resistance to Hamilton’s charge when he was able to re-pass the seven-time world champion with DRS along the run to Turn 4, having dropped behind the Mercedes at Turn 1. 

But Hamilton quickly sailed back past and made the move stick, before hunting down Verstappen for the win. Perez described the Mercedes car’s straightline speed as being “on another planet” after the race. 

Red Bull has suspicions over Mercedes’ superior straightline speed, and, although it has stopped short of launching a protest, Horner is eager for an explanation for the performance gains.

“It is important to understand where the speed has come from,” he added. 

"Obviously they had a new engine here. They are running Monaco levels of downforce, and when he passed Max he was close to 30km/h quicker on that lap.

"So it is just something that we need to understand. It is down to the FIA to police the sport and to govern it, so we trust in them and their tests and their investigation.