Kimi Raikkonen felt the pace was there for a good race but a sluggish getaway dropped him down the order and left him with too much work to do at the Bahrain International Circuit, ultimately finishing fourth.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver was disappointed with his start, and although he made early progress, he got caught out again by the timing of the safety car, and could not bridge the gap to the trio ahead of him, finishing 22.475 seconds off his team-mate Sebastian Vettel at the chequered flag, and missing out on a podium by 2.078 seconds to fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas.
“In a way, a lot of good things happened this weekend, but the end result is still disappointing,” said Raikkonen. “The car was working pretty nicely and to be honest I expected that.
“Today I had a bad start and because of that, the first two corners were really bad; obviously after that I was catching up, I got past Massa reasonably quickly. Then I did my pit stop, but I was unlucky with the Safety Car.
“The overall feeling was good, I was fast but obviously the time lost at the start did not help: we put ourselves in a difficult position.”
The Finn has seen team-mate Vettel take two victories in three race to lead the championship this season whilst Raikkonen is still searching for his first podium, having finished fourth in Australia and Bahrain, and fifth in China. He knows that the pace is there and it is just a case of getting things right during a race weekend, starting from qualifying.
“I feel that we are absolutely doing the right things, and in the big picture we are pretty much where we want to be, but we still need to fine-tune a few things; it’s all about putting the lap together,” insisted Raikkonen.
“We need to start more at the front and then our races will be a lot easier. I am happy for Seb and for all the team.”