With the drivers' title all but sewn up, a late Nicholas Latifi crash set in motion a series of events that will leave a mark on the history of the sport for many years to come.
Hamilton was simply cruising at that point having executed the perfect race before Michael Masi and his safety car shenanigans intervened.
Ultimately, after a comedy of controversial decisions, Max Verstappen roared past Hamilton on the final lap to snatch the glory right at the last.
Hamilton was left incredibly perturbed by what happened and is yet to decide on whether or not he wants to continue on in the sport he has given so much to.
It would leave a gaping hole in the middle of Formula 1 should he call time but for Mercedes it would simply disastrous.
Toto Wolff and his team would be left without their number one driver and would have to scramble to fill his seat before the season begins.
So who could they bring in should Hamilton choose to walk away? Here are five potential options.
This would be the dream move but is perhaps the most unlikely.
Lando has come on in leaps and bounds over the past couple of seasons and looks poised to steal a march on titles soon.
However, he is firmly entrenched in the McLaren camp as they continue their fantastic rebuild and it would take a pretty substantial crowbar to wrench him away form the team where he is seemingly so happy.
Ocon seems a far more viable option than Norris as he has history with Mercedes and Wolff.
The French star is a former Mercedes junior driver and has desires of returning to the Silver Arrows in one of the Formula 1 seats at some point.
Hulkenberg might represent somewhat of a gamble but he has shown his worth as the ultimate super-sub in the past.
He has filled in for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll and, unlike the two previously mentioned drivers, is a free agent.
Nyck De Vries
Mercedes' Formula E champion would represent a smart business move as the Dutchman is already technically one of their employees.
De Vries has been incredible in FE but his heart truly lies in an F1 car.
After winning F2 in 2019, though, he failed to find a seat in the premier championship which may be of some concern.
If we though Hulkenberg was a gamble, then Piastri would represent going all in on a pair of twos.
The 2021 F2 champion is without a team and without a car in 2022 and would represent easy business if offered a role.
However, if he is ready for the sort of rigours that come with driving the most successful car in the history of the sport, is another question entirely.