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Lewis Hamilton: It's painful when you mess up

Lewis Hamilton said finishing second at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix was more painful than his second place finish in Australia at the start of the season.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel beat both Mercedes to victory in Bahrain despite Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton starting on the front row of the grid. Hamilton lost a position to Vettel at the start, but his race really started to unravel when he received a five-second penalty for holding up Daniel Ricciardo in the pit lane under the Safety Car.

After the race, Hamilton apologised to the team for the incident and in his post-race media debrief revealed his frustration at the way the Bahrain weekend unfolded.

"I think over the years nothing changes and I feel pain in my heart," he said. "People say 'you finished second, you should be happy' but that's not why we exist. If anyone ever thinks a driver, or I, should be happy with second ... I don't know what to say, but that's not why we exist.

"Of course today and when I had the second before [in Australia], we had a strong good fight and I felt good on the podium, but then you think about certain things.

"I lost two tenths from Turn 10 to 11 because DRS didn't engage in qualifying and I lost half a tenth out of the last corner, so I should have easily been on pole. Today, I lost a position at the start -- solely my fault -- and then you've got the time lost in the pit lane. You practice and practice and practice and practice, but you only have 20 opportunities at this this year and when you f--- up it's painful. There's no other way of saying it.

"When you guys mess up in your job, I don't know how you feel about it, but when it has potentially big consequences you feel gutted as well. I try to handle it the best way I can, but it eats you up a little bit inside and you have just got to end up trying to cope and move forward.

"In Australia I don't remember it being any massive fault of my own, we just ran out of tyres and had to pit -- it was the circumstances we were faced with. But today there were certain things that, if they were perfect, I would have been in a much better position to fight for the win and I didn't put myself in that position."

Hamilton believes small errors are going to be the difference between winning and losing this year.

"Yeah, it's small percentages now, which I think is what racing should be about. We want to be operating in the top end of those -- and not having 1% divide the win -- not doing a good enough job by 1% and losing the race, but ultimately I think that's what it's going to be about this year. I think that's exciting and I think all of us -- and I speak for all of us in that team -- need to be operating at our maximum, week in and week out.

"If you look at 20 races last year you could say five or maybe more, there's a handful that weren't perfect but then others were awesome. Every year my goal is to increase the number of awesome races so minimize how many dips you have through the year. So we've had two really good... I think the first race was still a high, the second race was still a high and then this one was a little bit of a dip. I plan to bring it back up at the next one."