Nico Rosberg was pleased to be on the podium in Malaysia after being spun around by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the first corner.
Rosberg dropped to the back of the field as a result of the incident, but made his way into a podium position after a combination of many overtakes and a good strategy.
“I got the knife between my teeth and went for it. I fought my way through, with some great battles along the way which I really enjoyed, and was pleased to make it back up to the podium. To be honest, I can’t believe that I’ve just been standing up there from last!”
The Mercedes driver worked his way from the back of the field making some brilliant overtakes at the newly resurfaced Sepang International Circuit, but admitted he was lucky not to have seen his race end there and then such was the severity of the hit.
“I came here with the will to win and that didn’t work out, so I can’t say that I am happy. After the first corner, it was looking pretty dark. I thought my race was over and never thought I’d be able to continue. It felt like an uncontrolled four-time World Champion torpedo had hit me! I reported to the pits that it was a pretty hard hit. I was fortunate to be able to fight through the field.”
Rosberg was involved in a collision with Kimi Raikkonen at turn two, the Mercedes made an audacious overtaking move on the Finn which worked out but the aggressive move cost Rosberg and ten second time penalty.
“After the incident with Kimi I was surprised that I got penalized. I had to give it a go at some point and I saw the opportunity, so I went for it. You need to be creative and wherever a chance comes, take it. I thought it was an aggressive move but still okay, to be honest. That’s what we race for! But I accept the decision and luckily it didn’t have an influence on the result, as we had a better pace than Ferrari.”
Nico heads into Japan with a 23-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship but anything can happen in the final five races.