Nico Rosberg said he was not surprised that he had no chance to keep pace with the dominant Red Bulls in the Malaysian Grand Prix, but was still happy to give Mercedes GP its first podium. The German had qualified second, but lost out to the Red Bulls at the start, and thereafter had a quiet run to the final podium spot.
"It is a fantastic result for us today," said Rosberg. "I am quite pleased but unfortunately the start didn't go too well, it was quite a lot down to me, I got too much wheelspin and lost out. From then on I knew it was going to be difficult to follow the Red Bulls. I was struggling in first stint with the options as [Robert] Kubica could stay pretty close which wasn't the plan.
"Once onto prime tires, I was comfortable. I was a bit worried about [Lewis] Hamilton initially and I was expecting him to be fast but he didn't get past people behind me."
In contrast, teammate Michael Schumacher's race was over quickly, when a wheel nut on his car worked loose on lap 10.
"Unfortunately the wheel nut on the left-rear wheel was lost. The car suddenly became very unstable in turn six and I could hardly steer and had no drive left," the seven-time champ related. "I initially thought it was something to do with the suspension, but after I stopped and had a look, it was evident that there was a wheel nut missing. It is something very unusual to happen and in testing we never had problems, so we have to look it. I would have obviously wanted to finish the race and I think it could have worked out quite reasonably well. But in the end that is motor racing. It makes no sense to get angry about it, you have to accept it as part of the game and look ahead. At least Nico scored our first podium finish, and I am happy for him and the team."
Rosberg noted that it was appropriate for Mercedes to score its first podium on main sponsor Petronas' home ground, but warned that the team had to keep pushing as the gap to the pacesetters remained too large.
"It is a great coincidence that the first podium comes over here," said Rosberg. "I have to thank the team for the work put in over the winter. We definitely need to push on as we are not where we need to be."