Hamilton's Mercedes suffered a hit from the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen on turn three of the opening lap at Silverstone, forcing him to the back of the pack from where he had to fight through the field to finish second behind Sebastian Vettel in the other Ferrari.
This was a race that, on paper, had Hamilton's name written all over it and should have sent the Briton back to the top of the standings.
The stewards had no trouble in declaring Raikkonen as the guilty party.
In a race with two late safety vehicle periods, reigning champion Hamilton went from pole position to the rear of the field before finishing second for Mercedes in a superb fightback.
It, however, was a question of what could have been were it not for that contact with Raikkonen. "This is a lesson for us to stay classy - a thing that they haven't done".
But Hamilton was not happy despite his fine comeback drive.
After laboring with neck pain Saturday, Sebastian Vettel found the flawless tonic 24 hours later - matching Alain Prost's total of 51 Grand Prix victories and denying his main rival a record-setting win in his home race.
Did Hamilton feel the collision was deliberate?
"First of all it was wrong when they gave Vettel five seconds", he told Sky Sports.
"It is a lot of points that Valtteri and I have lost in those two scenarios".
He added: "In the future, we have got to position ourselves better so we are not exposed to the red cars because who knows when that is going to happen again". "So this leaves us with a judgement".
Back to the press conference room, and the Ferrari drivers were fighting their corner.
"We'll take it on the chin and keep pushing hard, because believe me I will not give up".
"There wasn't any intention and I find it a bit unnecessary to even go there".
"It's not easy to overtake in a Formula 1 vehicle and they're trying to make those moves stick on lap one". We have been hit also.
"That's how it goes sometimes".
What a difference a day makes.
He slipped from first to third, and then last after the Raikkonen collision.
Vettel pitted for new tires while the safety vehicle was out following Marcus Ericsson's crash.
While both Ferraris pitted for new rubber, Hamilton and Bottas were left out and both gained track position.
Bottas managed to close the gap to Vettel to under two seconds before the Safety Car period.
After twice failing to pass into Brooklands because of Bottas' defence, Vettel finally made the move stick with six laps to go, appearing to catch his rival by surprise with a late lunge that the Finn might have done a better job of defending.