Hamilton was left vulnerable to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and teammate George Russell, who both pitted for softs, at the Safety Car restart and was immediately passed by Verstappen into Turn 1.
Having also been overtaken by Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Hamilton eventually slipped off the podium and finished fourth.
Hamilton was seen sitting in his car in disbelief in parc ferme after circumstances that were similar to the manner he lost the 2021 F1 world title at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
“I was just on the edge of breaking point with emotions,” Hamilton told Sky.
“My apologies to the team because I don’t remember what I said, I just lost it for a second. But I think they know it was just so much passion.
“I want to look at it as a glass half-full. We came here, struggling from the last race, and we were fighting the Red Bulls today.
“We were quicker than most at many points. I think without the Safety Car I think we would have been challenging them for the win at the end with the one-stop, which I don’t think the others could do.
“So many great things to take. The car was finally working. If this can be the same in the future races, we’re going to be breathing down their necks and we’re going to get that win.”
Asked if he felt like he had the car to win at Zandvoort, Hamilton replied: “I think we did yeah, but given the circumstances I think we were just challenged with lots of things with the VSC and the Safety Car.
“I think the strategy of the car had been so good up until that point. The pit stops were fantastic, the best I think we’ve been the whole year. It was geeing me up. I was like ‘ok the guys are really, really on it’.
“I really was hopeful that we were going to get a one-two together as a team. Especially after such an up and down year, we’ve not had a win since Brazil [Saudi Arabia] and it was finally there in our grasp, but of course the Safety Car really didn’t help.”