Lewis Hamilton apologised to his team for taking the penalty after holding up Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo while driving too slow on pit entry during the Safety Car period. This move might have cost Hamiton the Bahrain Grand Prix victory as well as the championship lead.
The Brit's first loss came at the start of the race when he lost a position to Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. Although Mercedes offset Hamilton's strategy as much as possible to give him the chance of closing down Vettel in the final laps, the five-second penalty issued by the stewards left him with too much to recover in too less time.
"It’s been a challenging weekend. The start of the race was OK but Sebastian was in my blind spot so I didn’t know where he was and I lost a position there. It was really hard to follow but we generally had similar pace", Hamilton said.
"Under the Safety Car, I just misjudged it myself the situation; that was my fault, so my apologies to the team. I had good pace in the second and final stints and we honestly thought we could catch Sebastian. But the five second penalty made that twice as hard.
"I believe it was the right choice to go with the Soft in the final stint. I think that was the best call as I still had a long way to go. Our guys have been making good calls all year so far. I tried my best to recover from the mistake but it wasn’t quite enough. We still come away with good points."