Nico Rosberg says his victory in the Chinese Grand Prix was far from easy as he claimed he was never able to go flat-out in order to manage his tires properly.
Rosberg scored a commanding first career win in Shanghai after having started from pole position, the German finishing over 20 seconds ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button. Despite the big gap to his closest rival, Mercedes driver Rosberg said the race was very challenging, as keeping the tires in good form was far from easy.
"It was all about tire management," said Rosberg in a video blog on Monday. "It was very difficult to manage the tires.
"There was not one lap in the race where you could go flat-out. You really have to take it carefully and manage the tires, so it's very challenging. But it worked out fine, and the strategy was also perfect."
Rosberg, who took his victory after 111 grand prix starts, admitted the second part of the race felt like the longest of his life.
"It was the longest race of my life. It felt like I was driving the Le Mans 24 Hours," he added. "It was crazy. The last 30 laps never ended. Then I really enjoyed the last few laps, because I thought, 'OK, this one is my win.' I'm very happy for the whole team.
"It's great to see how fast we have progressed as as team and get our first win. It's been a long time waiting. Niki Lauda said that the first one is the most difficult, after that it gets easy, so if that's the way it is it will be fantastic."