For the second straight Formula One race Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley has failed to see the chequered flag.
"It was fun. It was reminiscent of my karting days when I'd start at the back, particularly in my first year or two", said Hamilton, voted driver of the day by fans in an online poll.
Hamilton, who won the title in Mexico two weeks ago, started from the pit lane after changes to his auto following a crash in qualifying then began a thrilling charge through the field.
The Briton was already up to ninth after 10 laps, with the safety vehicle deployed after opening lap collisions and led the race before the halfway stage as others pitted and he ran longer.
"Now, we are looking forward to the last race in Abu Dhabi, where we can hopefully successfully defend our sixth position in the Constructors' Championship".
The four-time champion took the lead at the start and, apart from a period after his pit-stop, controlled an incident-packed race to finish 2.8 seconds ahead of pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.
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"Waking up this morning, my goal was really kind of just to redeem myself".
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff described his stirring performance, with a series of overtakes, as "a champion's drive". Hamilton's unassailable overall lead was reduced to 43.
"During the first lap I lost a place to Pierre, which was a bit annoying, but after that I think I drove a pretty good race".
The safety auto was deployed for three laps after Ricciardo, McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne and Haas's Kevin Magnussen tangled at the start.
Felipe Massa, in his final race at home in Brazil, came out on top in a late race battle for seventh with McLaren's Fernando Alonso and the Force India of Sergio Perez.
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