The isolation felt by Hamilton at the front of the race stemmed from Verstappen’s five-place grid penalty for not seeing double-waved flags in qualifying.
The Dutchman dropped from second to seventh as a result, but stormed back to P2 early on and even secured the additional point awarded for fastest lap.
“I know it’s going to be difficult to the end but that’s quite nice, I enjoy it,” Verstappen told Button.
“This track is enjoyable to drive and the degradation was a challenge, so it’s cool. I feel good, it’s going to be a tight battle to the end.”