Following a puncture for Valtteri Bottas on lap 51, Red Bull immediately pitted Max Verstappen for fresh rubber to score the extra point for the fastest lap, knowing it was also guaranteed second place.
That extended Hamilton's advantage in front to over half a minute, leading to the team opting to keep him on track, only for the Briton's front-left tyre to also suffer delamination halfway through the final lap.
With the threat of the charging Verstappen looming, Hamilton managed to push his wounded Mercedes to the limit, taking the chequered flag on three wheels just ahead of the Red Bull.
"As we sit here now, we should have brought that car in," Mercedes head of strategy James Vowles conceded when discussing Hamilton's last-lap drama.
"The reason why we didn’t was the car was 30 seconds up the road, Lewis was already driving many seconds off the pace and all he needed to do was to do the last lap of the race in the middle of the road.
"Driving around one more lap out there in the middle of the road, up to 15 seconds off the pace if you wanted to, can sometimes be a safer proposition.
"Clearly, as we stand here now, that was a mistake and one that could have cost us dearly, and fortunately [it] didn’t on the day.”
With Hamilton doing 140mph on the Hangar Straight to protect his lead, Vowles also praised the "incredibly impressive" final lap of the six-time world champion.
"Look down towards Turn 15 (Stowe, the right-hander after the Hangar Straight), a very high-speed right-hand corner, remembering that it’s the front-left that has gone, the tyre that would be loaded in that circumstance," added Vowles.
"And as he exits, he properly guns it on the way down into the last sequence of corners to get across the line.
"The fact he took that apex speed with fundamentally three tyres on the car is mighty and he did a great job getting it across the line.”
After such a famous win, the 87th of Hamilton's career, he now holds a 30-point lead over Bottas after four races, with Verstappen a further six points back.
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