Mercedes left the Chinese Grand Prix in mixed moods after pole sitter Lewis Hamilton was unable to claim victory, whilst Nico Rosberg suffered his second retirement of the season.
Despite dropping back, Hamilton was nevertheless able just to hang on to a third place finish to record his second podium with the team, despite coming under intense pressure from a charging Sebastian Vettel on the last lap.
“It was a good race for me today and whilst I would have loved the win, I’m really happy with third place and being on the podium for the second race in a row. Fernando and Kimi were just a little bit too fast for us during the race and my tyres were shot at the end trying to keep ahead of Sebastian. I could see his car getting bigger and bigger in my mirrors so it was nice to be able to hang on for the third place,” he said afterwards.
“The guys did a great job this weekend to get us where we were; on pole and finishing third. We got the absolute most out of the car we had and that’s very satisfying. We’re not quite there yet in terms of overall pace but everyone is working so hard and I know we can do it.”
For the 2012 winner of the race it was a more disappointing day however, as Nico Rosberg was forced to retire with a broken anti-roll bar.
“The race was tough for me today and with my set-up I had an unexpected level of understeer which made it difficult to drive. After my second pit stop, the feeling got worse and I had one front wheel in the air during the corners. The rear anti-roll bar, which influences the balance of the car, had broken so unfortunately we had to retire the car.”
“It’s a shame and I’ve had a difficult start to the season with two DNFs. But it’s good to have the next race in just seven days time so hopefully we can put this result behind us with a strong weekend in Bahrain. It was great for the team to get another podium today.”
“We didn’t quite enjoy the balance with the car today that we were expecting. Clearly the track had moved away from us and perhaps more towards one or two other teams. Certainly we didn’t have as good a balance in the race as we had on Friday. With Lewis, we did the best we could with the car we had today and he drove extremely well. We needed to keep the stints as evenly balanced as possible to make sure we had adequate tyre life, however, even with that, it became very close with Sebastian at the end,” Ross Brawn concluded.