Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes had "a car to win" the Dutch Grand Prix and apologised to his team for an outburst after he missed out on a podium finish.
The seven-time world champion looked to be in with a shout of claiming his first win of a difficult season, one which has seen him off the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari.
But after a late safety car that saw the team decide to keep him on existing old tyres, the Briton was swiftly deposed from the lead of the race by eventual winner and incumbent world champion Max Verstappen.
Team-mate George Russell and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc passed Hamilton in the closing stages to lock out the podium with fresh rubber, and the 37-year-old subsequently turned his fire on the team with his radio messages.
Hamilton said: "I can't believe you guys screwed me like that, I can't tell you how p****d I am right now."
Speaking afterwards, however, a more composed Hamilton offered apologies to his pit crew and team, and vowed to take the positives from an improved race performance, if not ultimately the final result, as he took fourth place.
"I think we had a car to win," he said. "Given the circumstance, we were challenged with lots of things, the safety car, the virtual safety car.
"To all the mechanics, fantastic job today, those are the best pit stops we’ve had all year so thank you for the continued efforts. Let’s keep pushing, we still got points today.”— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) September 4, 2022
- Lewis pic.twitter.com/Ol39nHyTwG
"The strategy and car have been so good today, the pit stops were the best. I was really hopeful we'd get a one-two together as a team, but the safety car really didn't help.
"I was on the edge of breaking point with emotions, so my apologies to the team. I just lost it for a second, but I think they know there's just so much passion.
"I want to look at it as a glass half full. Without the safety car, I think we'd have been challenging at the end for the win. If this can be the same in the future races, we can breathe down their necks and get a win.
"Last race, we were miles away and we couldn't even understand how we could be so far away. Yesterday, I was pole up until the last corner.
"There's a huge positive to take from that and our race pace seems to be better or as good as everyone else, so let's not give up."