Sebastian Vettel reckons his Monaco Grand Prix strategy would have worked out better if Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus had not held up the midfield pack in the first part of the race.
World champion Vettel used a very long first stint on soft tyres to come from ninth on the grid to finish fourth. The German led for a while and was briefly by far the fastest man on track.
But he admitted he was counting on the leaders getting delayed in traffic had Raikkonen's slow pace not created a gap into which they could emerge after their comparatively early stops.
"We were hoping some of the leaders would be forced to do two stops, but unfortunately Kimi made quite a big gap behind me, so the leaders had clean air after their first stop," said Vettel.
"That helped them and it made it more difficult for us, but we started ninth and considering it's hard to pass here, then to gain five places was a good day."
Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber won the race, and the German was confident he was quick enough to at least get on the podium had his tactics worked out better.
"It would have been nice to have been on the podium today," said Vettel.
"I think the speed was there, but in the end we had the same strategy as the leaders, just the other way round.
"It was quite difficult as we were on older tyres, but we had some good laps and we gained roughly around eight seconds, so that was strong.
"After that I was in traffic and it's difficult to pass in Monaco, as I showed last year and Mark showed this year."
The Monaco result meant Vettel is now three points behind new leader Fernando Alonso in the championship race.