Kimi Raikkonen believes Lotus were never in the race for victory in Bahrain as Red Bull were out of reach on Sunday.
The Finn claimed his third podium of the season as he finished second behind Sebastian Vettel at the Sakhir circuit with his team-mate Romain Grosjean third.
It was a major improvement for Lotus after a poor qualifying session saw Raikkonen set the ninth-fastest time with Grosjean in 10th place.
The 33-year-old believes he would still have struggled to match Vettel for pace even if he qualified higher up the grid.
"I think overall we did not have the speed to beat Red Bull this weekend," he said.
"Yesterday we could have been a few places higher but we could not have challenged their speed at the front.
"So it was a good result. Today we got good points and didn't lose too many to Seb."
Raikkonen and Paul di Resta, who finished fourth, were the only drivers who stopped only twice on Sunday and the Finn says Lotus pretty much settled on that strategy when they got to the track.
"Yesterday wasn't ideal, but we already planned on Friday to try to do two stops because it felt okay," he said.
"Today it worked well. We gained a lot of places.
"I didn't have a great start or first or second lap. But after that, the car started to come to me and I could start pushing more and more."