Hamilton had been running comfortably until a pit-stop for dry tyres on Lap 28 of the race, as he spun off the circuit soon afterwards and damaged his car.
He crawled into the pits for a 50-second pit-stop, which was the first of a series of wild events which relegated him down the order and out of the points when he took the chequered flag — he was promoted to ninth post-race after penalties for Alfa Romeo‘s two drivers.
Speaking before his elevation back into the points was confirmed, Hamilton struggled to remember a comparable grand prix.
“It was probably the worst day I’ve had in the office for a long, long time,” he said. “You live and you learn. I don’t really know what happened today, to be honest but I’m glad it’s over.
“Me hitting the wall wasn’t helpful and them putting on the slick tyres wasn’t helpful…just a combination of things.”
When asked what he was thinking as he sat stationary at that pit-stop, he said: “I don’t remember. Probably pissed off that I had made a mistake at the previous corner and angry at myself. But I don’t really remember.
“I think ultimately it was a culmination of things. It’s massively disappointing and upsetting for all of us to be leaving a grand prix and I was eight seconds in the lead at one point and had it all under control and you are constantly just hoping.
“Things are going to be thrown at you the whole time in conditions like this. But I think it was like one domino after another and like Snakes and Ladders and I kept hitting the snakes today. But the thing is we win and lose together. It just shows you how easy it is to get a weekend wrong and the processes wrong, but we stay united and we pull together and we regroup.
“The guys will be back in the factory tomorrow already and I’ll have a group conference call with everyone before the next weekend and come back with a fighting spirit for the next one. We were still doing pretty awesome until the domino effect today so we need to take the positives from this weekend and leave all the negatives out. It’s only one race, and we keep moving forwards.”
As it stands heading to Hungary, Hamilton’s lead has risen to 41 points, although Alfa Romeo is set to appeal the two penalties which relegated Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi out of the points. If that is successful, Hamilton’s lead will still be a healthy 39-point margin.