Nico Hulkenberg got another reminder on Sunday that this year's mid-field battle is shaping out to be as competitive and tight as ever.
The Renault driver put in a solid effort Sunday evening in Bahrain and enjoyed a good scrap with Haas' Kevin Magnussen to conclude his day with a sixth place finish.
The German believes he would have been hard pressed to extract anything more from his R.S.18, but was still left a bit disappointed by his inability to beat his rival mid-field runners.
"We got the maximum from the race today, which is a good positive," said the Hulk.
"We didn’t quite have the pace to compete with the cars ahead of us and that leaves me a little disappointed, so it’s clear the midfield fight is very close.
"It was a busy race and our main focus was fuel saving whilst still trying to race other cars and I think we managed that quite well tonight."
Team mate Carlos Sainz came home P11 following a struggle late in the race with fuel consumption and degrading soft tyres. For the Spaniard, It all started with a poor start however.
"I was surviving in the end there with very tired Soft tyres and having to do a lot of fuel saving," he said.
"We need to analyse what happened at the start because I had too much wheel spin and from there onwards the race was compromised.
"I was stuck in traffic after both stops and we couldn’t really do a lot from there. It was a tough day to be honest, but luckily China is just around the corner and we will fight our way back to the points."