The Briton was expected to follow Nico Rosberg all the way to the finish line and ensure a 1-2 for the Brackley marque in the race.
Everything seemed to going to plan as well as the duo successfully negotiated the first corner and also kept the Red Bull men at bay.
Felipe Massa's early retirement on lap 28 following a high-speed crash after locking his front-row tyres should have given Hamilton the ideal opportunity to pit and still maintain his hold over second place.
He was also briefed over the radio on the plan and had to pit after Nico Rosberg at the right time in order to come out ahead of Sebastian Vettel with the German having to curtail his speed due to the safety car at that point in the race.
But the former McLaren man took too long with the result that both Red Bull cars snuck ahead of him, costing the 28-year-old a valuable podium position.
"It wasn't the team's fault, it was my own fault," he told Sky Sports F1 after the race. "I was told to have a six-second gap and I had more than six seconds and I lost out massively."
"That's motor racing. I just wasn't good enough this weekend."
"I don't put it down to bad luck. I have to go away and make sure I raise my game and I don't let this happen again.
"Big congratulations to Nico and the team, they did a great job today [Sunday] and I have to keep work harder."