Approximate strategy and lost time in traffic in the earlier part of the race meant that Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel could not challenge arch rival Lewis Hamilton in Sunday's Chinese GP.
By Hamilton's own admittance, Virtual Safety Car and Safety Car periods helped design his win, especially as Vettel unluckily pitted under the first race neutralisation.
"My start was okay and then I realized the intermediates had quite a lot of degradation," Vettel said on the podium.
"It was very dry in some parts of the track, so I knew they wouldn't last and I was happy to take the risk.
"Obviously with the VSC you save a bit of time doing the pit stop, and then the Safety Car came just when I was starting to feel that the dry tyres are a lot quicker.
"So I couldn't use the advantage and obviously lost a lot of positions."
Unlucky circumstances took nothing away from Sebastian Vettel's day at the office however.
"I had a very exciting race, I really enjoyed it," the German enthused.
"I was stuck a little bit in the train for a while but then I finally made the move and tried to chase Lewis down as much as possible but every time I put a lap in he was able to respond.
"I think we were a good match, it could have been a different race but a good recovery, and it was good fun at least."
Vettel put in a few cracking overtaking maneuvers, notably on Ricciardo down at Turn 6.
"My target was to catch Lewis, I was getting a bit annoyed and wanted to get by. I saw Daniel blocking the inside because I had a good run Turn 4 and said 'You have to try it on the outside', braked really late and hard.
"And then on the exit it was a bit compromised, a bit in the dirt and got my elbows out. He really squeezed me but it was fun and I had the inside for the next corner!"