Mark Webber had been a very unhappy man in the F1 paddock on Saturday night after qualifying, after yet more KERS and gearbox issues with his car had frustrated him in qualifying and left him having to settle for tenth place on the grid.
But with the team able to rectify the KERS issue overnight under parc ferme conditions, and the decision not to participate in Q3 allowing Webber an extra set of tyres and a free choice over which compound to start on, suddenly there were some intriguing options open to the team for race day.
"I think we had the right strategy," said Webber after running the medium compounds at the start and making up ground over a long run, leaving the soft option tyres to the finish.
"We knew there was a lot of pressure on getting a good first lap and I got some clear air, which worked well," he said. "The start was okay and the first sector was very good.
"I was able to put a bit of pressure on Kimi and then we just settled in," he continued. "I had a pretty tricky car for the first three or four laps, as I knew the option tyres [on the other cars] were quite grippy and after that we just got our heads down.
"I don't think we could have got much more than that result today," he insisted. "The strategy was pretty solid and you have to pace the option tyres until the end.”
His boss, Red Bull
team principal Christian Horner, was in agreement and said he felt that Webber had done a fantastic job in the circumstances.
"Mark's recovery from tenth was excellent today, a very strong first stint put him back into contention and to recover from tenth on the grid to fourth was a very good performance," he said.
At one point it looked as though Webber was even poised to hunt down his team mate Sebastian Vettel
for the final podium position, but in the end his final run on options fizzled out before that was possible.