Lewis Hamilton had revealed just when he realised he had lost his chances for victory in the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix.
Hamilton is yet to win this season, but looked a threat for victory at Zandvoort - optimising a one-stop strategy after starting on Mediums.
He was set to cycle to the lead late on as Max Verstappen was required to make a second pitstop, but a Virtual Safety Car for Yuki Tsunoda allowed the Red Bull to pit and emerge in the lead - with Mercedes also abandoning his one-stop for a new set of Mediums.
However, a further actual Safety Car was deployed seven laps later, under which Verstappen boxed for Softs and Hamilton's teammate George Russell did similar - leaving the seven-time champion in the lead, but on older tyres.
Hamilton was subsequently mugged on the restart by Verstappen, and subsequently passed by Russell and Charles Leclerc, finishing where he started, in fourth place.
He now has just seven chances remaining to win a Grand Prix in 2022, and keep intact his record of at least one win in every season of his career.
Roller coaster year for Mercedes
"I mean it's been such a roller coaster ride this year, and it was such a good race, the car was feeling better than it's felt all year long," Hamilton explained to media including RacingNews365.com.
"We had pace and the car was different to how it's been all year long.
"Then I got up to second, had the Hard tyre on, and I was catching Max, and I was thinking: 'Wow, we might be fighting for a win here, and potentially a one-two and then all the safety cars came through.
"Fricking emotions were all over because I knew at that point, I'd lost it.
"There was no discussion if like 15 or 20 laps to the end there was a safety car, that wasn't part of the discussion.
"And honestly when that came out, I just followed the direction, I didn't think anyone was going to stop.
"When I passed the box, I saw the Soft tyres were out, and I saw what was happening with George, and at the moment I was like: 'Honestly?'.
"It was kind of then my hope started to fade a bit."
"Before the restart, I knew when everyone was on Softs behind me, there was no way I was going to hold them behind me.
"So I don't apologise for my passion [after comments made over the radio], that's just how I am made and I don't always get it right.
"I am sorry to my team for what I said, because it was just in the heat of the moment. I want to look at the glass half full.
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A win is possible
Hamilton is currently on the longest winless run of his F1 career at 16 races stretching back to the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
However, the 103-time Grand Prix winner believes Mercedes can take the positives from Zandvoort.
"We've got so many positives this weekend," Hamilton continued.
"Yes we got fourth, but the car felt great.
"If it feels like this at the other races, we're going to be fighting for a win and that's amazing.
"The pitstops were great, these werethe fastest pitstops I think the team had done all year.
"Honestly, I was so geed up from that I thought: These guys are on it. We're on it and the pit the strategy is great.
"You just keep looking forwards and hope for better races."
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