Sebastian Vettel admits he was surprised by the pace Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg was able to display following his second stop at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Vettel had occupied second position at Suzuka but Mercedes opted to stop Rosberg for his final pit stop earlier than Vettel and the Mercedes driver posted a rapid out lap to ensure he jumped ahead of his rival when the Ferrari driver pitted a lap later.
Vettel went on to finish third and maintain his record of finishing on the podium at Suzuka every year.
"All in all, today there is plenty of reasons to be happy with third place," he said.
"At the second round of pit-stops, we were surprised by the out lap that Nico pulled. I guess we thought the gap was big enough, so you can’t say we made a mistake.
"But in the end it’s a bit of a shame when you cross the line; I think that if we could have stayed ahead it would have been difficult for Nico to pass, as around there it is not so easy to get close, and we saw that he struggled a long time with [Valtteri] Bottas.
"But we have to accept that Mercedes were just a bit quicker and for this reason they deserved to be ahead. Nevertheless, third and fourth is a great result for the team."