Hamilton was leading at Zandvoort but, when a Safety Car was removed allowing for a potential 12-lap shootout with his rival Max Verstappen, he was immediately overtaken.

Red Bull driver Verstappen, who hasn’t gone wheel-to-wheel with Hamilton too often since the events of Abu Dhabi 2021, zipped past his Mercedes rival on the first corner as racing resumed.

Lewis Hamilton VS Fernando Alonso - THE RIVALRY! | F1 2022

Hamilton’s teammate George Russell, and eventually Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, also overtook him.

“I can’t believe you guys f**** me, can’t tell you how *** I am,” Hamilton furiously said on his team radio.

Verstappen won his home race and was joined on the podium by Russell and Leclerc. Hamilton settled for fourth.

“Sorry about that, Lewis,” his engineer said over the team radio post-race. “It was looking good but we’ll sit down and review the decisions we made.”

Team principal Toto Wolff said: “Sorry it didn’t work out. We did what we discussed in the morning - we took a risk but it didn’t work out. Let’s discuss between us in the office.”

Hamilton said: “To all the mechanics - fantastic job today. That was one of the best starts we’ve had all year so thank you. Let’s keep pushing. We still got points today.”

Engineer: “Thanks Lewis. Appreciate the message.”