Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin offered his apologies to Red Bull and Lando Norris following Valtteri Bottas' opening lap blunder that forced several drivers to retire.
The Finn was late on the brakes heading into Turn 1 on a wet Hungaroring circuit and as a result he crashed into the back of the McLaren driver, with the two of them then collecting Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. The Dutchman was the only driver able to continue in the race, and Shovlin admits it wasn't a tidy day at the office for Mercedes.
"Congratulations to Esteban and Alpine on the win," Shovlin stated as per a Mercedes press release. "For us it wasn't a very tidy day - Valtteri had a very poor start and then his mistake at turn 1 obviously ruined the day for Max, Sergio and Lando; we can only apologise for that, although it's not much by way of consolation.
"Given the position we were in at the restart, we didn't particularly want to gamble on slicks but we were surprised when the entire grid left on intermediates. It was even more surprising to see them all pit on the formation lap. That is obviously one of the key moments of the race for us, although we wouldn't have been leading on the restart as having the first garage means the field coming in behind us prevents us from leaving our pit box."
Hamilton managed to finish the race in third after dropping to the back of the grid, though he was later moved up to second following Sebastian Vettel's disqualifcation.
"Recovering from last position was clearly then an enormous challenge for Lewis and to get to third took everything he had," Shovlin added. "It's such a difficult track to overtake on and we had to convert to the two-stop to get through but unfortunately we spent too many laps behind Fernando and that meant Lewis was only catching the leaders on the last lap.
"It's frustrating to have given away a chance to win here but encouraging that the car was really good - we weren't expecting to be so strong. We've got a week before the summer shutdown and there's lots to do in the next few days to prepare for a triple header on our return but it's going to be nice to have some time off as it's been non-stop since testing back in February."