Felipe Massa admits he cannot help but wonder what could have been in an eventful Russian Grand Prix despite a charging drive from 15th to fourth position.

The Brazilian blamed traffic and mistakes for qualifying down on the eighth row of the grid around the Sochi Autodrom, but proceeded to pick his way up the order in the race and took full advantage for dramas around him to cross the line fourth.

With three of those positions coming in the final four laps as Daniel Ricciardo retired, Valtteri Bottas was spun out and Kimi Raikkonen damaged his Ferrari, Massa was happy to have luck on his side but disappointed at being unable to fulfil his full potential given his starting position.

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"It was a very positive result - better than I was expecting! I was a little bit lucky but luck is part of this game. It was just a shame I lost a bit of time behind slower cars like Nasr and Kvyat. When you start the race so far back and you can't overtake, then the time lost adds up. A little bit of luck is always welcome.

"Overtaking here is not easy, so that is why I lost so much time but in the end I managed to do it and it was crucial for the end result.

"We saw my team-mate do a strong qualifying yesterday so it was a shame I had problems because this was definitely a race I could be on the podium."

Following a non-score in Japan, the result boosts Massa hopes in the fight for fourth overall in the standings with 14 points covering Raikkonen, Bottas and himself with four races remaining.