After an excellent getaway, Hamilton was hit by Felipe Nasr in Turn 2 as the Sauber driver attempted to avoid a collision between the two Ferraris, breaking off his front wing and forcing him to pit.
"It was definitely a difficult one,” said Hamilton. "I got a good start, which is always difficult starting from the back, getting caught up in things. I tried to avoid what was ahead of me, but got tangled in it.”
With the loose wing having got stuck under the Mercedes, it had damaged the car’s floor, robbing it of downforce. That left Hamilton facing an uphill battle to achieve his eventual point-scoring finish, which came after 18 overtakes and five pit stops.
"This track is quite good because you can overtake and get close, but the car was pretty damaged,” he added. "I'm sure some aerodynamic components were damaged, but I think the suspension was as well. The car was flexing like crazy, like a four-poster bed today.
"I just tried to battle through, but every time I stopped I had to come through again, I wasn't gaining ground, and at the end there weren't enough tyres. That's racing, not a great finish, but hopefully onwards and upwards."
Hamilton’s recovery drive was enough to retain his second place in the 2016 driver standings, though he now trails team mate Nico Rosberg – winner of all three rounds to date – by 36 points.