Nico Rosberg has insisted he understands why Mercedes told him to hold position behind team-mate, Lewis Hamilton at the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix, even if it was 'disappointing' to get that instruction.
Rosberg appeared stronger in the final stint, and was heard arguing with team boss, Ross Brawn in the latter stages when he said: 'I am much faster, let me past'. Although he did obey - unlike Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull - and followed Hamilton home, settling for fourth, at the finish when congratulated on his afternoon's work, he replied, 'Remember this one'.
Later though, he refused to elaborate on it, and having cooled down, said he knows why the team made the decision it did.
“Of course, it was disappointing for me having to hold position but I understand the team's decision to safeguard our positions and to make sure that both cars got to the end with a strong team finish, especially in light of the tough times behind us,” Rosberg confirmed.
“There are a lot of races to go and our performance today makes me look forward to fighting for more podium finishes in the future.”
Rosberg's mood was also no doubt improved by Hamilton's admission that he didn't deserve the podium, and that rightly they would have finished the other way around [see separate story
“It was a great day for us as a team and we can be very happy of our performance here this weekend,” Rosberg added. “It was a good feeling to be competitive and to be able to set fastest lap times during the race.
“Thanks to all of you at the team for all the hard work, results like these are very well deserved.”
Brawn meanwhile said that while he could appreciate Rosberg's frustration, they had no choice but to do what they did, as they needed to save fuel.
“We had a heavier than expected fuel consumption during the race and as we got towards the end, we had to take some measures to ensure that both cars finished. We asked Lewis and Nico to hold position and both drivers respected that. Whilst it was tough for Nico and I fully expect him to be disappointed, we have now got a car we can fight with and there will be plenty more opportunities to achieve good results this season,” he stated.
“This weekend was another step in the right direction for the team. We had a pretty good car today, certainly on the option tyres it was very good, and the team made the right calls on strategy.
“On the third set of dry tyres, the hard compound, we didn't quite have the balance and that's where we fell back.
“Now we've got to concentrate on keeping up the pace of development but we can take pride in achieving our first podium of the season and my thanks to everyone here and back at base for their commitment and hard work,” Brawn summed-up.