Lando Norris claimed to have flashbacks to his podium in last year's Formula 1 season-opening race when Valtteri Bottas suffered a lengthy delay at his final pit stop.
Norris finished one position shy of the top three in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix but the McLaren driver revealed a problem for Bottas had given him a brief moment of hope he might pick up his second piece of F1 silverware.
Bottas, who finished third, completed his final pit stop of the race on lap 31 of the 56 but a problem with the right-front meant he was stationary for 10.9secs, more than eight seconds longer than would normally be expected.
“I was hoping that was him out of the race to be quite honest," said Norris, who finished third in last year's season-opening race in Austria.
"I don’t wish that upon anyone obviously, but I thought something might have been coming from it. Last year started to flashback a little bit but I’m very happy with P4."
Starting seventh on the grid, Norris lined up a place behind new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and just ahead of his former McLaren ally Carlos Sainz.
In the chaotic opening exchanges which saw both the full and virtual safety cars called into use, Norris was able to fight his way past both Ricciardo and AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly.
“The pace was good," added Norris. "It made it a little bit easier that I could be in my own gap and just focus on myself. It made my life easier.
"We’ve got work to do to keep pushing forward and it would have been nice starting from P4 rather than trying to get P4.
"We’ve got work to do but as far as first races go I think we can be very happy.”
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