He suffered a massive accident in qualifying that was not of his own making – hitting the barriers at 140mph after a failure on his McLaren.
But he had a remarkable stroke of fortune in the race when he was able to re-start after being pulled out of a gravel trap by a crane. Here’s how his rollercoaster weekend unfolded:
UNLUCKY – Crashes at 140mph in qualifying after his front right tyre works loose. Taken away on a stretcher and airlifted to hospital.
LUCKY – Escapes serious injury and is able to race.
LUCKY – Inspired start puts him fourth from tenth at turn two.
UNLUCKY – The BMWs tangle and puncture his tyre, sending him to the pits for a replacement.
LUCKY – Rain ours down meaning everyone else will need an early stop for tyres anyway.
UNLUCKY – As the rainwater gets too deep for the cars to pass through turn one, Hamilton is one of several cars to spear off at the corner.
LUCKY – Hamilton stays in the car with the engine running gets extracted from the gravel trap by a rescue crane and re-started, now a lap down.
LUCKY – The race is stopped and Hamilton is allowed to take his lap back under the rules. He is also able to get in a ‘free’ pit stop to take on more fuel.
UNLUCKY – He switches to dry weather tyres too early and is lapped again.
UNLUCKY – Lapped by Felipe Massa, hindering his progress through the field and giving him one fewer lap to overtake other cars.
UNLUCKY – Stays on dry weather tyres for a lap too long, possible because the team needed to prioritise Fernando Alonso’s pit stop to keep him within range of Massa.
UNLUCKY – Beaten to the last points-paying position by Heikki Kovalainen by 1.5s.