Lewis Hamilton apologises to Mercedes for pit blunder

Lewis Hamilton has apologised to Mercedes for the pit-lane incident which cost him a five-second penalty in the Bahrain Grand Prix, conceding the blame lies solely with him.

Ferrari's gamble to make an early pit stop handed the advantage to Sebastian Vettel, who took over the lead of the race following a Safety Car period which prompted Mercedes to stack both of its drivers in the pits. Hamilton slowed significantly on pit entry, delaying Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in the process, and later received a time penalty for being adjudged to have slowed unnecessarily.

A slow first-stop, coupled with the extra five seconds spent in the pits during his second stop, meant Hamilton had to fight back past Ricciardo and Bottas -- aided by a Mercedes pit call to switch it's drivers around -- to recover to second place. Stunning pace in the final stint helped the Briton reduce the gap to Vettel, but ultimately Hamilton ran out of laps and had to settle for second.

"Firstly congratulations to Sebastian, he did a fantastic job today and also a big thank you to Valtteri for being a gentleman out there," Hamilton said on the podium. "Obviously a very difficult race. It didn't start out the best, but the pit lane was really my fault and so apologies to the team for losing the time there.

"I tried my hardest to catch up but it was a long old way to go. It was 19 seconds. But I gave it everything I could. Ferrari did a great job today, so we're going to push hard together, regather as a team and come back fighting."

When asked about his increasingly-composed demeanor in defeat, Hamilton replied: "Of course the disappointment is there. As I said, losing points for the team, particularly when you could have potentially won the race is painful, but it is what it is. All I can say is that I gave it everything I could."