Hamilton had a frustrating first lap at Monza after starting from behind due to an engine error and finishing 19th.
However, the Mercedes driver worked his way up the order and hoped to challenge Carlos Sainz for fourth when the late safety car neutralized the race.
Hamilton made it clear after the flag that he had enjoyed his afternoon.
“It’s a thousand times more fun to fight with people,” said the seven-time world champion.
“When I started out, my first go-kart was like an old kart, it was all bent and bent and we always had to start at the back with old tires. And I’ve always loved doing that.
“And so from today on, having those fights is a lot more fun than starting first and driving away. It’s a different challenge, but I prefer fighting with people.
“When you win, it’s something completely different and you’re proud of everyone.
“I like the idea of moving forward, so today I felt like I was climbing a ladder. Progress is a good thing.”
Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW44, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03
Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Hamilton explained that he took some damage to a front wheel “eyebrow” on lap one, but insists he “didn’t come into contact with anyone” to cause it.
“I saw some bits of other people’s cars fly off and hit mine, and I think the front flap over the tire is damaged,” he explained.
‘Those things, I don’t even know what they’re for. But it chattered, that was damaged. They block your view, that’s all.’
Hamilton admitted he was frustrated that the safety car meant he couldn’t challenge Sainz at the end, although he admitted the Ferrari driver would have a tire advantage.
“The soft one started to fall off a bit, and I think they stopped so they had new tires so I probably couldn’t get past it,” he said.
“But still, I really enjoyed the battle with everyone, slowly working away with this car. It was definitely a challenge from the start.
“Of course as a racer you just want more time, I wanted to be able to challenge the Ferrari in front of me and see if I could get another position.
“But in hindsight I think it was probably a happy ending. I’m just really grateful to have come back from the last row.”