Nico Rosberg has responded to the disappointment of losing out in the F1 World Championship race with 'the best podium of the year' and victory in the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver produced a controlled drive to dominate his team-mate Lewis Hamilton for his fourth win of the year. Rosberg nailed his start from pole position to keep his lead at turn one and was able to manage a gap to Hamilton throughout the race and despite a safety car period held his nerve to claim victory.
“It was an amazing day and a great race, great battle with Lewis he drove really well and I am really happy to get this win,” Rosberg said. “This is the best podium of the year and what a place to do it.
“The best podium of the year to be in a stadium like that, the energy and atmosphere was unbelievable. I am really thankful to all the Mexican people today for the massive support, it was special.”
Reflecting on his race start, where in recent races at Japan and the USA he lost out to an aggressive Hamilton, the German driver got the ideal drive off the line to keep a car-length gap into turn one. Rosberg says it was the most decisive part of his race and set him up for his first win since the Austrian Grand Prix in June.
“The start is just like everything else, we kept on working on it to get everything perfect and today it worked out to be first was very important and maybe the most important part of the race so I am very happy about it,” he said.
Mercedes opted to switch strategies for both drivers midway through the race from a one-stop to a two-stop in order to cover itself from any tyre wear problems in the closing stages. Rosberg says he wasn't pleased with the decision at the time but in hindsight felt like the race unfolded in his advantage.
“I didn't want to come in at the time because I was leading and comfortable ahead of Lewis,” he explained. “So I wasn't too happy with it but I understand it was the better thing to do especially with the safety car that came out.
“It was important to have fresher tyres at that point in time. I was happy to control the race the only bit that was a bit too difficult was at the restart with the cold tyres but it was okay.”