Hamilton owns up to 5-second time penalty

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Lewis Hamilton rued a missed opportunity to win in Bahrain after being handed a 5-second time penalty for backing up Daniel Ricciardo at the entry to the pit lane.

As he headed to his first pit stop on lap 14, Hamilton knew he would get double-stacked on the pit lane by Mercedes as team mate Valtteri Bottas preceded him for a tyre change.

Hamilton purposely backed off to avoid a lengthy halt but then impeded Ricciardo's own entry into the pits.

"It was definitely costly," admitted the Mercedes driver.

"It's now the second time I've double-stacked and lost out, but this time was really my fault. So apologies to the team for losing time there.

"I didn't know if I could catch up Vettel but the penalty made it twice as hard. Apologies to the team, but we still got good points for the team and still had a great fight.

"A lot of different things could have happened today, and they didn't. We will assess it and try to figure out how to move forward."

Despite the potential loss, Hamilton felt happy with his level of performance relative to Ferrari and Vettel but insisted on the difficulties of fighting wheel-to-wheel with the new-spec cars.

"For us to be all that close, in the beginning, was great," Hamilton added.

"I just wish that with these cars that we could follow closer so we could have done more together. But it was already pretty cool."

GALLERY: All the action from the Bahrain Grand Prix

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