Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has admitted he didn't deserve to finish third in the 2013 F1 Malaysian Grand Prix and that it should have been team-mate, Nico Rosberg up on the podium rather than him.
Hamilton put in a strong performance, and despite going into the wrong pit box at his first stop, when he mistakenly stopped by his former McLaren mechanics, he featured right in the thick of the action.
Indeed after the third stops he ran in second and moved in front of Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel.
However, the Englishman then dropped back, forced to go into fuel conservation mode, and towards the end he had a frustrated Rosberg on his tail, the German spending the final phase of the race arguing with the Mercedes pit wall about why he should be allowed to overtake.
“I have to say big congratulations to Nico. He drove a smarter and more controlled race than me this afternoon and deserved to finish where I did,” Hamilton remarked. "The team though, made the call for us to hold positions and we both respected that.”
Meanwhile, despite conceding the Red Bull's of Vettel and Mark Webber were ultimately out of reach, Hamilton was full of praise for his new team.
“It was a fantastic job by the team today,” he continued. “They worked so hard over the winter and to achieve a podium at the second race of the season is a nice reward, particularly here in Malaysia at one of our home races
“The race was tough, we were fighting hard with Red Bull and went aggressive on our fuel strategy but they were just too good today.
“Third and fourth places is still a great result for us however and just increases our motivation to keep pushing and close that gap.”
“We achieved a very good result for the team this weekend and to score some solid points is very satisfying. Both Lewis and Nico both drove extremely well today. [But] tough decisions have to be made sometimes and it was important for us that both cars finished the race and we scored some solid points,” added Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff.
“Congratulations to everyone here at the track, and back at Brackley and Brixworth for our first podium of the season, and we will keep pushing hard to make sure that more will follow.
“We have continued to show an upward performance trend although there is still work for us to do to close the gap to the leading cars even further.”