A combination of this damage to Hamilton's car and a perfect race from Valtteri Bottas meant that the five-time champion finished 20 seconds behind his Finnish teammate, and also meant that Hamilton was under pressure from Max Verstappen for much of the race.
During the team's post-race debrief, its chief strategist James Vowles said that Hamilton had done a "fantastic job" to stay in front of the Dutchman and to finish in second place.
“On inspection of Lewis’ car after the race, we noticed some damage on what we call the tyre seal area,” Vowles explained.
“We saw the broken carbon just in front of that rear tyre on that floor region. That area is quite sensitive aerodynamically, both for downforce and also for balance of the car, and we believe we sustained it during the race while riding over some kerbs.
“Lewis already had a very long stint on that Medium tyre after covering off the threat from [Sebastian] Vettel’s undercut, so he was already having to manage those tyres quite significantly, hindering his progress through the race.
“Furthermore, that floor damage wouldn’t have helped. It would have caused the rear to be more unstable that it normally would be, and he did a fantastic job bringing that car to the end of the race.”
Vowles also commended Bottas' performance, as he stormed to his first race win since the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
"Valtteri was on it all weekend," said Vowles. "You would've seen in qualifying he was there in contention for pole position and it was Lewis' fantastic last lap that really put him ahead.
"Come the race, again his start was perfect, he was able to take the lead of the race and from then, he just lap after lap just pulled a small margin relative to the others behind."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing