Kimi Raikkonen put an alternative tyre strategy to excellent use as he charged his way to the Bahrain Grand Prix podium for the first time since 2013.

The Finn circulated third initially after a strong start from fourth, but after being demoted a place again on lap four, Ferrari switched him to an alternative strategy, one that would see him take on the medium tyres in the second stint and run on longer.

Consequently, Raikkonen was the last driver to stop on lap 40, the effect of his waning rubber evidenced when he was not only overtaken for the lead by Lewis Hamilton - who had already made his second stop -, but when Fernando Alonso was also able to un-lap himself.

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Despite this, having emerged for the final stint with soft rubber attached and 17 laps to make up 16secs to Rosberg ahead in second, Raikkonen set to work, catching the Mercedes ahead with two laps remaining and passing at turn one when his rival ran on as brake issues emerged.

Eventually finishing just three seconds off the win, Raikkonen's second place marks his best result since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix and his first podium since returning to Ferrari.

"Obviously you are never happy when you finish second, but I think after a difficult start to the year, I am a bit pleased to get this result. We came through in the end very quickly but we ran out of laps. However, I think we have to be happy after where we qualified and after where we finished, but obviously we are looking for a bit better results too."

Regarding the decision to adopt a different strategy, though Raikkonen originally questioned the move, he admits it was the correct move.

"I think we had a few different plans on how to run the race and this one was one of them and it would all really depended on where we are after a few laps. But I think we did a very good job out of it and the medium tyres worked very well for me in the second stint.

"It was quite easy to catch them and I was wondering if it was the right choice to go soft and obviously it was correct - they were much faster still. I was able to catch Nico and pass him. I think we did more or less the maximum we were able to."