Valtteri Bottas' struck his W11 with two laps to go, dropping the luckless Finn from second place to outside the points, while race leader Hamilton's occurred at the start of his final lap while going down the Wellington Straight.
"The auto was still turning no problem so I thinking, "maybe it's ok" and those last few laps I started to back off and down the straight it deflated and I just noticed the shape just shift a bit that was definitely heart in the mouth feeling because I wasn't quite sure it had gone down until I hit the brakes".
"Just driving it trying to keep the speed up, sometimes it will take off and break the wing I was just praying it would get round and it would not be too slow, I almost didn't get round the last two corners".
If the team had opted to keep him on track, Verstappen would also have caught Hamilton, but instead finished just under six seconds down.
Charles Leclerc also made the podium, while Daniel Ricciardo claimed fourth place and Land Norris fifth after Carlos Sainz also suffered tyre problems, making a late dash to the pits on three wheels. "They [Mercedes] were of course in the race too quick".
Hamilton's left-front then blew on the final lap, but he just held on to win from Verstappen, who pitted for fresh tyres in response to Bottas' troubles. Just, shit! We should be happy with second, and when you have this.
Nearly the entire field had been running the same strategy after a Lap 12 safety auto tempted them into a long final stint that took the hard tire to the limit of its expected life.
There followed six laps behind the safety auto, with the likes of Hamilton and Leclerc complaining at times about its lack of pace, primarily as they were concerned about retaining heat in the hard Pirellis.
The middle of the race was consequently dominated by pace management, but by Lap 40 severe blistering became evident, particularly on the leading Mercedes cars.
"The vehicle seemed to turn ok through Maggots and Becketts, thankfully". Doubling the damage was that his tire failed early on Lap 50, forcing him to undertake nearly an entire lap on three wheels. "The potential, the performance of the vehicle is not where we want it to be, but today we took every opportunity".
Esteban Ocon finished sixth in a race of two halves for the Frenchman. The Haas was going around the outside of Albion, with the Red Bull taking a whack.
Alexander Albon compounded a poor weekend by banging wheels with Magnussen on the opening lap, sending the Haas driver into the gravel.
Stroll hung onto ninth on a disappointing day for Racing Point. It was a disappointing afternoon for Sebastian Vettel, who only just managed to score a point in 10th.
Like Austria, Britain is hosting back-to-back races at Silverstone.
Nico Hulkenberg was ninth driving for Racing Point as a last-minute replacement for Sergio Perez, who is in quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus following a trip back to Mexico in between races because his mother had an accident.