Mark Webber concedes his runner-up result in Suzuka was the "best" possible given his strategy.
Starting from pole position, the Red Bull racer was beaten to the first corner by Romain Grosjean and spent much of the 53-lap grand prix fighting with the Lotus driver.
On a three-stopper compared to Grosjean and Sebastian Vettel's two, Webber had to come in for his last tyre change with 10 to go which dropped him to third.
What followed was a thrilling tussle with Grosjean which Webber finally won on the penultimate lap.
However, it was too late to try chase down Vettel and he finished second, 7.1sec behind his team-mate.
"The race today was pretty good, but I'd have liked one more step on the podium but there were different strategies going on," said Webber.
"I'm pretty happy with second but you always want a bit more. I got the best from what I could today.
"In the end we went to a three-stop but we we got back to where we were."