Sebastian Vettel blamed his relative slump to fourth in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix on Red Bull's inability to manage their tyres as well as rivals Ferrari and Lotus.
But the triple world champion insisted he was happy with the potential speed and performance of his car.
The German said: "I think we can be happy with fourth - or at least we have to be. The first three cars were a little too fast for us and in looking after their tyres they did a better job today."
Mercedes pole-sitter Nico Rosberg meanwhile admitted he was shocked at how quickly he slipped away from the front of the field, eventually having to settle for sixth.
The German's teammate, Lewis Hamilton, suffered a similar fate — finishing 12th after sharing the front row.
Rosberg's drop down the order began on lap 12, when race winner Fernando Alonso passed him into Turn One in his Ferrari and then he was further demoted by Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus.
‘Stewardess’ Branson fired
Kuala Lumpur: British business tycoon Sir Richard Branson donned high heels and fishnet stockings as a stewardess in a figure-hugging scarlet outfit on a AirAsia flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur, but was soon fired.
Wearing heavy make-up, the 62-year-old newsmaker was serving passengers as part of a Grand Prix bet with AirAsia chief executive Tony Fernandez set two years ago.
The billionaire entrepreneur and owner of Virgin Atlantic Airlines also shaved his legs as promised, but insisted on keeping his beard, which made a startling contrast to the lipstick he had slicked on, 'The Australian' reported.