Hamiltons fourth victory of the season gives him a four-point lead in the world championship over Ferrari rival Felipe Massa, who finished third behind Renaults rookie Nelson Piquet.
But the Briton had to dig deep into his reserves of talent and overtaking skill to achieve it, after his McLaren teams decision not to bring him into the pits under a mid-race safety car period forced him to mount a late-race fightback.
The Woking squad did not want Hamilton to have to complete a 30-lap stint on the soft-compound tyre and also appeared to believe he could build a big enough cushion following the restart to emerge from his stop still in the lead.
That proved optimistic, however, as despite pulling away from Massa by more than a second per lap, he rejoined in fifth place and had to claw his way back up the order in the remaining 16 laps.
“First of all, I didnt plan on doing on that – I would have much preferred a comfortable afternoon out in front, but it didnt work out that way,” said Hamilton.
“We got off to a really good start, we had two very comfortable stints and then the team opted for me to stay out.
“I guess they thought that I could pull out the gap…but, I mean, I needed something like a 23-second gap in seven laps or something, so I dont think that worked out.
“So I just kept pushing and pushing, trying to get the gap up, but I came out behind Heikki [Kovalainen].
“I have to say a big thank you to Heikki for being a great team-mate – he saw that I was quicker and didnt put up a huge fight, which enabled me to get past quickly.
“I had good tyres and I was able to pull it off.
“I guess it was exciting for you guys; it was exciting for me too!”
Asked whether he was involved in the decision to stay out under the safety car, Hamilton replied: “Not really, no. I said ‘Are you sure about this? and they said it would be fine.
“But we all make decisions and have opinions on certain things, and for sure well learn from this and move on to the next race.
“But still we had the quickest car this weekend and we came out on top.
“Thats due to a lot of hard from the team both here in Germany and also back home – theyve all done a phenomenal job.”
Hamilton passed team-mate Kovalainen with the Finns cooperation, but had to muscle his way past first Massa and then Piquet under braking for the Spitzkehre hairpin.
“With Felipe I saw that I was a lot quicker than him and I was told that I was a second [per lap] quicker than him at the time,” he recounted.
“I knew that I only had a few laps to get past him before the tyres began to grain and the car would slide around, so I had to push and get as close to him as possible.
“But the great thing about this track is that you can follow other cars – or so I found.
“I was able to get quite close through the last two corners, follow him all the way down to turn two and slipstream him [on the back straight], but towards the end of the straight he sort of matched my speed, so it was a bit difficult to get past.
“So I just had to do it on the brakes. He gave me plenty of room. I think it was quite a fair battle; it was good fun.
“I thought my work was done and then the team said I still had to get past Nelson. I was thinking ‘OK, Ive just worked my backside off, but thats fine!
“It was a good battle and he was very fair.”