Kimi Raikkonen does not think Lotus had the speed to win the Bahrain Grand Prix even if he had qualified better.
The Finn felt his car was simply not fast enough around the Sakhir track when he was only ninth-fastest in qualifying. He then gained one position from Lewis Hamilton's gearbox-change penalty.
On race day, Raikkonen pulled off a two-stop strategy to move up to second, and pegged the gap to leader Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull at under 10 seconds. But while he admitted that his disappointing grid position "didn't help," Raikkonen remained convinced that Vettel was unbeatable.
"I think overall we did not have the speed to beat Red Bull this weekend," he said. "Yesterday we could have been a few places higher but we could not have challenged their speed at the front.
"So it was a good result. Today we got good points and didn't lose too many to Seb."
Raikkonen added that Lotus had decided as early as Friday that two stops were its best option, rather than choosing that tactic in response to the qualifying disappointment.
"Yesterday wasn't ideal, but we already planned on Friday to try to do two stops because it felt OK," he said. "Today it worked well. We gained a lot of places.
"I didn't have a great start or first or second lap. But after that, the car started to come to me and I could start pushing more and more."