Sebastian Vettel insists that his fourth-place finish in Shanghai was the best he could have hoped for.
The defending World Champion gambled in qualifying by bringing out a set of medium-compound tyres in Q3 rather trying to secure pole by persisting with the faster soft tyres.
This strategy allowed the Red Bull driver to start on the medium tyres and do a longer first run. However, while it looked at one point like the plan may work out, the medium tyres did not give a sufficient advantage to propel Vettel into a podium position.
Despite this, Vettel believes that the team did not make a mistake with their strategy, with Alonso's Ferrari simply too fast on the day.
"Our strategy seemed to work today," he asserted. "We knew it was crucial to get clear laps at the start, but we did not.
"I was behind Nico [Rosberg] and if you follow another car too much it's bad for the tyres. It was hard to find the right compromise.
"If you look at the strategy, they started in clean air, they finished in clean air. I didn't," he added of the Ferraris.
"I'm not blaming anyone, it's just how it is when you start further back.
"We have to be fair, Fernando was too quick. But if you look at practice, he wasn't too far out of reach. With more clean laps at the beginning, we could have had a chance."
Vettel switched to soft tyres with five laps to go and the new set nearly saw him pip Lewis Hamilton to third as he produced a string of fastest laps. However, a gap of 11 seconds proved too much to overhaul.
"When I came onto the long straight for the first time and saw Lewis at the hairpin, I thought I was too far away, but we had more speed on the tyres," he said.
"It's a little disappointing to lose out at the end. A few more corners and we could've tried something."
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