Lewis Hamilton admitted he had been upstaged and out-performed by his Mercedes team-mate on Sunday after finishing a relatively-distant fourth behind victorious Nico Rosberg in the Monaco Grand Prix.
As the paddock parties began and the glamorous visitors to Formula One's annual showpiece race in the Mediterranean principality started drifting away, the 28-year-old Briton admitted: "I have to work harder."
In his new Mercedes team, where he has succeeded seven-time champion German Michael Schumacher, the 2008 world champion arrived as the man expected to lead them back to glory.
But after being outpaced in qualifying in three successive races in Bahrain, Spain and Monaco, he has now endured a comprehensive beating on the circuit he has always loved most - and he knows the pressure is on.
To most observers, he was unlucky to drop from second behind Rosberg to fourth when a delayed Safety Car intervention favoured their Red Bull rivals.
But Hamilton said: "I don't put it down to bad luck at all...I wasn't good enough this weekend. Big congratulations to Nico and the team, they did a great job today and I have to keep working harder."
He added that he had miscalculated the gap he should leave to Rosberg, when they both had to pit on the same lap during the first Safety Car spell.
"It was my mistake today. I was told to have a six-second gap and I had a little more than six seconds and I lost out....That's motor racing."
The additional time spent in the pit lane enabled both Red Bull drivers German Sebastian Vettel, the defending champion, and Australian Mark Webber to take advantage on the track and pass him.
"Nobody is to blame for that, but me," said Hamilton. "I have to go away and make sure I raise my game and I don't let this happen again."