Jenson Button admitted he did not have quite enough pace to threaten Sebastian Vettel in the Indian Grand Prix.
Vettel was able to make an early break while Button battled for second with Mark Webber, but although the McLaren stayed within a few seconds of Vettel for much of the race, Button felt the champion had enough in hand.
"The last race I really struggled on the first lap and lost a lot of places, so I wanted to redeem myself here, and then I was just trying to hang on to Seb," said Button. "His pace was good, he didn't make many mistakes. The tires when I came out of the box felt good and felt competitive, but as soon as Seb got into a rhythm I could not do anything about it.
"For the team, we have done a perfect job today and could not have done anything else."
Button said he had enjoyed his first-lap dices with Webber and Fernando Alonso.
"The start off the line didn't feel that good but it's such low grip, then I was able to get Fernando in Turn 1 when he went a bit deep," said Button. "I knew I had to get a good exit out of Turn 3, got a good exit and was in Mark's tow – he covered the inside but I had enough speed around the outside. It was an exciting part of the race, and then I had Mark behind me for eight laps pushing me really, really hard. We both braked very, very late, I kept position and then was able to pull away.
"It was a fun race, bit frustrating that I couldn't catch up with Seb. The pace isn't quite there but hopefully in the next two races we can make that step."
He also joined Vettel and Alonso in paying tribute to the late Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli, who lost their lives in recent IndyCar and MotoGP races.
"As Seb said, it was a tough weekend for everyone in motorsport," said Button. "The last two weekends have been very difficult with two fatalities, very difficult. I knew Dan from an early age, he was the guy we always had to beat.
"We should dedicate this first Indian race to Dan and to Marco – a super-talented youngster who was the most amazing guy to watch on a bike."