Nico Rosberg says he is pleased with Mercedes' step forwards during the Chinese Grand Prix despite the disappointment of missing out on a potential podium finish in Shanghai.

After two races without a point, Rosberg opened his account for 2011 with a fifth place finish in the third round of the season but was left to wonder what might have been having led a number of laps and been in contention for a top three finish before being forced to conserve fuel.

That move ultimately dropped him back from the leading pack, with the team admitting afterwards that it would need to examine why fuel consumption in the race had been higher than in practice.

While Rosberg had been understandably disappointed at the end of the race, the German admits that Mercedes has to be happy with the step forward seen in Shanghai after a difficult start to its championship campaign.

"The race on Sunday really was one of the most exciting Grands Prix that I've ever driven," he said. "It took some time after the race to let everything sink in because I had high hopes for a good podium result, and I had led for a quarter of the race. However I can't blame anybody in the team for having been short on fuel, it's a lesson that we learn together.

"We have to be happy that we made a step forward in China, which was achieved by everyone in the team working extremely hard. My attitude is always that we win together and we lose together as one team. Who would have thought before the Chinese Grand Prix that I would lead the race? That was fantastic and to be competing at the front of the field was a great feeling for me and everybody in the team."

Rosberg will now spend time with his family and compete in a triathlon in France over the Easter break before returning to work, with a visit to Mercedes GP's Brackley base on the agenda as the team looks to build on the progress made in China.

"After the Easter weekend, I will be visiting the factory in Brackley to meet with the team and have a look at what we have learned in the first three races, and what we can do before the European season gets underway," he said. "We all want to make further improvements and we're working really hard to achieve this. There's a positive feeling at the team and I'm highly motivated."