Hamilton and Mercedes were forced to manage the problem throughout the final stint on the hard tyres bearing in mind that second place in the constructors' championship was on the line.
The seven-time F1 champion managed to drag his W14 to the chequered flag in ninth place, with the two points scored thankfully not missed due to Red Bull's Sergio Perez dropping from second to fourth after incurring a five-second penalty for causing a collision.
That elevated Hamilton's team-mate George Russell into third position, allowing Mercedes to hold off Ferrari by three points in the constructors' standings.
Offering a full explanation as to why Hamilton struggled in the final phase of the 58-lap race at the Yas Marina Circuit, head of race strategy Rosie Wait said: “If you picked through the data, and correct for things like the age of tyres, the track condition, Lewis' performance was actually pretty similar through stint two and stint three but the race situation made it look quite different.
“In stint two, Lewis was on fresh tyres chasing down Fernando, whereas Fernando was on older tyres and spent most of that
stint in the dirty air of (Oscar) Piastri. That makes Fernando's performance look worse than it was in reality and Lewis therefore look stronger.
“Take stint three and the positions were reversed. Fernando had slightly newer tyres than Lewis and fresh air, and Lewis was in the dirty air of Fernando with the older tyres, and so that's why his performance doesn't look as impressive despite the lap times being quite similar.
“The other thing to be aware of is that Lewis was managing brake issues throughout the race, which was a real reliability concern.
“So, our number one priority was making sure that we got that car to the finish and didn't have to retire it.
“That will have affected his performance to varying degrees throughout the race and is something that we are certainly working on to improve for next year's car.”
Although Mercedes boss Toto Wolff described both his team and Ferrari as “losers” for finishing second and third behind all-conquering Red Bull, Wait insists the battle to the finish with the Scuderia proved uplifting going into next season.
“Ultimately the aim of all of us here is to win championships and we weren't able to deliver that this year,” said Wait.
“However, given the performance we had and the challenges we faced, P2 is a really good result and so the mood is really one of happiness and relief of having delivered that P2.
“Now we can move on to putting all of our energies into going one better next year.”
Wait has confirmed that the development of the W15, which will be a radical departure from its predecessor, is in full swing.
“In terms of the factory, there is no such thing as a winter break,” said Wait. “In fact, away from the race team, the winter period is actually often the busiest time.
“Many people in the factory have been focusing on next year's car for months, and now that the racing is over, the focus can switch entirely to that, and it's all hands on deck to get the car ready ahead of pre-season testing and the first race next year.”