Kimi Raikkonen said he knew before the Hungarian Grand Prix that a fast start was his best chance of getting into the podium fight. The Ferrari driver had only qualified seventh, but burst through the pack with his KERS boost at the start and was fourth in the first stint.
With Fernando Alonso dropping out after losing his wheel, and Mark Webber slightly delayed at his pit stop, Raikkonen then found himself second behind Lewis Hamilton.
"We got a very good start and that definitely helped," said Raikkonen "We knew before the race that we had to gain some places at the start to be able to fight for the podium.
"I was fourth after the first few corners behind Lewis and he overtook Mark. I could follow Mark and got him at first pitstop, he had some issues and I got past him. After that I was just driving my own race."
Raikkonen admitted that Hamilton was too fast to challenge once he was up to second.
"I tried to catch up, I thought I had the speed for that, but then we were at the same speed and he was faster so the gap stayed more or less then same, then I had some issues at last stop which didn't help," said Raikkonen.
"It's difficult to challenge for the win right now, but we were more close than we expected."
He added that the result was particularly pleasing given the traumatic time Ferrari had suffered following Felipe Massa's horrific qualifying crash.
"It's not an easy weekend for team but we got a good result so hopefully we can keep going like this," Raikkonen said. "It's positive for the team."
The Finn will be investigated by the stewards after the race for his startline move, as he made contact with Sebastian Vettel - causing damage that eventually forced the Red Bull to retire - when squeezing through the slower-moving non-KERS cars.
But Raikkonen was bemused to learn of the investigation and felt he had done nothing wrong.
"I haven't even noticed if I touched anybody," he said. "I was between Mark and somebody else. I don't know what is going on. I didn't feel any touching so I cannot comment."