Nico Rosberg said that his fifth place in Bahrain today was down to a good recovery from a poor start.
The German qualified in fifth place, but had dropped down to ninth place by the end of the opening lap.
Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher recovered to tenth place after he started from P22 following a penalty for an unscheduled gear box change.
“I had a pretty bad first lap today, but after that I was able to recover and get the most of our race,” said Rosberg. “We had a good strategy and the pace of the car was pretty strong compared to the start of the season, although it was difficult to make progress as there were a lot of cars fighting for the same positions.
“Overall I’m happy with our weekend as fifth place gives me a few more points and I can see that we are making progress. Now we have a short break where we can work hard in the factory ready for the start of the European season.
“Before that, I’m looking forward to visiting the DTM opening race in Hockenheim next Saturday. It’s my first chance to return to Germany after two good weekends, particularly of course the win in China, and I look forward to celebrating that together with our fans.”
Schumacher was pleased to make it up to tenth place from his lowly starting position, and to get to the end of a race for only the second time this season.
“Considering where I started the race today, it’s a positive that I was able to fight up to 10th place, score a point and finish a dry race this season,” said the seven-time world champion. “The tyres obviously played a large part in the race today, and in the conditions here, we had to adapt the driving style to keep the tyres together.
“It will be good to have the time now before Barcelona to sort out some issues and prepare our updates for the test days in Mugello. Next weekend, the DTM starts in Hockenheim and I am looking forward to my first visit to a DTM race for twenty years.”
Despite neither car challenging for a podium place in today’s race, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn still sounded pretty positive this afternoon.
“That was a tough but ultimately rewarding race today,” he said. “Nico didn’t get the best of starts and lost some positions which made the early part of the race difficult, but he had a very good drive to fight his way back up to fifth place.
“Michael did well to recover a point in 10th place, considering that he started at the back of the grid in 22nd.
“We saw again today that if you get the car right on the day, it makes a great deal of difference, with Red Bull and Lotus clearly getting their cars in better shape than we did.
“We will learn more lessons from today, however we made the best of what we had so I’m reasonably happy. Now we can look forward to some time back at the factory to improve the car before the next race.”