Mercedes was happy to see strong performances from both drivers coupled with race strategies that paid off to perfection deliver two top ten finishes for Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg in the Japanese Grand Prix.

"We made the absolute most of the car and opportunities we had at our disposal today," said team boss Ross Brawn. "The car performed well throughout the race, our strategies were right for both cars, and the pit crew produced fantastic stops."

Nico Rosberg gained two spots in the safety car pit stop alone as he worked his way back to the front after having started from the back of the grid, after hydraulics problems wrecked his Saturday qualifying hopes.

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"This is definitely one of the toughest tracks for overtaking so starting from the back of the grid meant that I had a pretty tough job," said Rosberg, who finished in tenth place by the end. "I'm pleased to score a point today and had fun out there with a few nice overtaking manoeuvres."

Michael Schumacher had an easier time of it, starting from eighth on the grid despite losing out on his final flying lap after being delayed by Lewis Hamilton at the end of qualifying. Despite some attempts at creative strategies, Schumacher was not able to force his way any higher than sixth place by the end but he accepted that this was the best that the car had in it this week.

"I'm very happy with what we achieved in Suzuka today as we maximised our potential of the car, and managed to put in a good race," he said. "The team did a great job the whole weekend in finding performance and transforming it into the race."

But the German team as a whole was sharing in the celebrations going on down pit road at the Red Bull Racing garage after their compatriot Sebastian Vettel clinched the 2011 wold championship.

"I would like to congratulate Sebastian and his team who have been exceptional the whole year," said Schumacher, who knows what the achievement of back-to-back championships feels like. "It is extremely emotional to see him win the Championship again - I am very happy for him and even a little bit proud."

"Hats off to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing," agreed Mercedes' Norbert Haug. "Not just for winning the title, but also for defending it with an exceptional level of performance throughout the season."