The Malaysian Grand Prix turned out to be a gruelling race – both physically for the cars, and mentally for the drivers. But Mercedes Petronas AMG recorded a fantastic result, with Lewis Hamilton earning his first podium finish for the team, and Nico Rosberg narrowly missing out in fourth place.
Both drivers implemented a four-stop strategy to perfection and used the same tyre strategy, and in the end it was specific orders from the team that kept them apart. With track temperatures of up to 33 degrees Celsius careful driving was essential, but against fierce opposition like the Red Bull team the characteristically bold driving of both Mercedes racers proved to be of equal importance.
Overall the team scored 27 points, the highest on a single weekend since the Silver Arrows returned to Formula One in 2010. And it could have been very different: Nico had the opportunity to attempt to overtake his teammate, but he held his position under team orders, a composed and selfless act that allowed Lewis to record his fiftieth Formula One podium finish, and first for Mercedes Petronas AMG.
Lewis praised Nico, saying: “He drove a smarter and more controlled race than me this afternoon and deserved to finish where I did.”
Nico Rosberg was understandably frustrated, but was delighted with the drive quality of the 2013 Mercedes car and was happy for the team to pick up such a fantastic points haul: “Of course, it was disappointing for me having to hold position but I understand the team’s decision to safeguard our positions and to make sure that both cars got to the end with a strong team finish.”
A great result to the exciting race ensured that Mercedes Petronas AMG was in a strong position in the table. The team was hoping for another good result in China, on April 14, to set them up nicely for the season.