Sebastian Vettel believes he could have fought Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello for victory at the Spanish Grand Prix, had he made a better start.
The Red Bull driver finished the race fourth -- 19 seconds behind winner Button, but is certain that he could have got in among the Brawns had he not been passed by Felipe Massa's Ferrari at the beginning.
"It's a disappointing race for me," Vettel, who started from the front row, told BBC TV
. "Because I think the car was very, very quick today, very competitive and I'm sure we could definitely fight with the Brawns.
"Unfortunately Felipe got past me at the start and I was stuck behind him all race. I tried to pass a couple of times, but I never really got close enough to start a manoeuvre.
"It's just very frustrating to see two cars in front pulling away and you're stuck behind a red car for 63 laps. It's very frustrating, especially when you know you can go so much quicker."
While clearly being quicker through the corners than Massa, Vettel was unable to stay with the Ferrari on the straights due to the Brazilian using his KERS to keep the German at bay.
Vettel eventually passed Massa for fourth with three laps to go, the Ferrari driver being forced to back off in order to save fuel and reach the chequered flag.
His time behind the Brazilian allowed team-mate Mark Webber – who had started and run behind them all race – to leapfrog the pair at the final round of pit stops.
"It's a shame when Felipe ran out of fuel, but obviously I was happier to pass him than I had been for the previous 63 laps stuck behind him."
Vettel's points enabled him to retain his third place in the world championship, albeit losing ground on second place Barrichello.