Sebastian Vettel reckoned he should not be too disappointed with his second place finish in today's China GP as he doesn't believe a win could have been achieved even if he been spared some first lap drama involving Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat.
"My start was not so great, so I was a bit on the back foot into Turn 1," Vettel admitted.
"Then Kimi locked up and went a bit wide, so I wanted to go on the inside to overtake him. I think Daniil was trying to do the same thing with me.
"He was coming with a lot of speed into that gap, and I was very surprised so I had to steer to the left to avoid him.
"At the same time, Kimi was coming across, and there was no room, so we made contact which was a shame because you don’t want the same colour cars touching each other."
After stopping for a front wing change during a safety car period cause by debris on the track, Vettel eventually settled into his race pace, running through his tyre strategies and steadily climbing back up the ranks.
H e then found himself once again with Kvyat to contend with, gaining the upper hand over the Red Bull on lap 36 and cruising home to second.
While Vettel regretted the first lap incident, and publicly chastised Kvyat for a maneuver he perceived as overzealous, the Scuderia stalwart didn't believe an outright win and defeat of Mercedes would have been in the cards today.
"Daniil's move didn't have any consequences for him but it did for us, and we were lucky to finish actually.
"When you take a risk like that, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In the end it was a racing incident.
"I was lucky, Kimi was lucky that we could continue and still have the cars in the points. Not ideal because I think we could both have finished on the podium, but given the circumstances I think it was a good recovery for the team.
"Nico had a perfect race. He is in strong form now and Mercedes is the benchmark, difficult to beat. I believe in Russia if we have a smoother weekend we can be a lot closer and when we put them under pressure, we can see how strong we really are."
Vettel also produced a rather entertaining moment when, while traveling down the pit lane entry road he promptly pulled out overtook a Force India and a Toro Rosso, beating both to the pitlane speed limit line.
A perfectly legal move and a smart one by the four-time world champion.
"I am allowed to overtake. I don’t know what happened to Force India, he was very slow, the Toro Rosso decided to queue so I went half way over the grass and jumped both of them!
"We changed the nose so we lost the position again but we are free to race in the pit entry. Looks like I was the only one to remember."