'Frustrated' Rosberg puts Mercedes first
SEPANG, Malaysia (AFP) –
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg admitted his frustration Sunday after team orders denied him a spot on the Malaysian Grand Prix podium — but he called the race a “milestone” for the fast-improving team.
Team principal Ross Brawn put the brakes on the young German as he buzzed around the back of Hamilton’s car in the closing stages, allowing the Briton to finish third in his first podium finish for his new team.
“(I was) a little bit frustrated of course in the end because as a race driver I want to go as fast as possible,” Rosberg said, adding that Mercedes’ three-four finish, behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, was a big step forward.
“It’s hopefully a milestone today on the way forward. To be fighting with the Red Bulls right in front, that’s awesome. That’s just an amazing feeling,” Rosberg said.
“And I look forward to a lot more to come, and that’s why I fully understand that we had to take away all the risks today to bring that result home,” he added. “If it would have been the other way around, they would have done the same thing.”
Hamilton, who cut a sheepish figure on the podium, admitted that Rosberg drove a “much smarter, much more controlled race than I did today” after tyre wear prevented him from finishing strongly.
“I don’t feel spectacular to be here. I think Nico deserved to be where I am now. But obviously the team thought that with the position of the championship perhaps it was logical to stay in the positions we were in,” he said.
After two races, Mercedes are fourth in the constructors championship, following their fifth-place finish last year.