While Hamilton seemed untroubled by tyre degradation, his team mate Nico Rosberg
had more of an issue and needed to make an extra pit stop late in the race after outbraking himself and flat-spotting his current set. Fortunately the team was able to get him in and out of the pits without losing track position.
"I think fifth place was probably my optimum today and, even if my race had gone perfectly, I wasn't able to match the pace of the guys in front," he admitted. "We were worried about the warm-up of the harder tyres, so we went for the option [supersoft] to protect my track position against Webber and Alonso, but in hindsight it would probably have been better to go the other way because I could have run a longer second stint."
"We still had some anxiety about the tyre performance in the high temperatures," admitted Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn. "So we were managing the situation carefully, particularly in the opening laps of the stints.
"Nico had a reasonably quiet race after a strong first stint and we will have to analyse if we could have made more of the car's performance today with him," he added. "We called him in for a third stop as a precaution, because he had flat-spotted badly the right-front tyre badly and we had nothing to gain or lose in terms of track position.
"Lewis drove a very strong race although it was a shame that he could not quite hold on to second position in the closing laps," he continued. "However, that wasn't down to him but rather the fact that we still need to find a little more performance from our car to compete with Ferrari
and Red Bull.
"Overall, a positive afternoon and another strong two-car finish that is important for our position in the Constructors' Championship."