Nico Rosberg took the third podium finish of his career and the very first for the 'new' Mercedes GP team on Sunday in the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.
Rosberg, who started from second, lost a place at the start, but while he came under pressure from Robert Kubica early on, he managed to stay ahead of the Renault man and following his sole pit stop on lap 22, he pulled ahead.
Rosberg eventually finished 5 seconds in front following a composed race to the chequered flag, and while he was quite way off the Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, who finished 1-2, the German was still very pleased to get third on what was the home race for the team's title sponsor, Petronas.
"It's a fantastic result today to achieve our team's first podium. I want to thank the whole team for all of their hard work this weekend and over the winter," said Rosberg. "This result is the start of the reward for our efforts. It's a great feeling to be back up on the podium again and to have so much support from the Malaysian fans here.
"My start didn't go that well today as I had a bit too much wheelspin and once I was in third place, I knew it would be difficult to follow the leading cars. I struggled a little with the options in the first stint which allowed Robert to stay quite close but once we switched to the primes, I felt really comfortable and we could manage the race home to third place. This is a great end to a strong weekend for us. We're not quite where we want to be yet so we need to push on but I'm confident that we'll get there soon."
Mercedes GP team principal, Ross Brawn meanwhile was impressed with Rosberg - as was Norbert Haug, and both congratulated him on a top drive.
"That was an excellent drive from Nico today and a first-class performance to secure his third career podium and the first podium for the Mercedes GP Petronas team," Brawn stated. "We are delighted to have achieved the first podium for the Silver Arrows here in Malaysia and to be able to share the rewards of our hard work with our title partner Petronas at their home Grand Prix. My compliments to Nico for an assured performance today and over the weekend."
"A great drive from Nico and our first podium after starting from the first row in only our third race," Haug added. "The team had a first-class strategy and Nico did not put one foot wrong and secured this first and for us historic podium finish, at the home race of our title partner Petronas.
"Our gap to the two Red Bull-Renaults in front of Nico was still considerable and we all know there is more work to be done in order to catch up. However it looks like we are heading in the right direction and the point standings after three races don't look too bad."