Rosberg: Beating Lewis at the start was crucial to win

© XPB 

Mexican Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg describes holding off Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the start as “the most important part of the race”.

The German lined up on pole position for the fourth consecutive time and managed to stay in front on the long run to Turn 1 to lead into the first corner, something he had failed to achieve at Suzuka and Austin.

Rosberg then quickly pulled out of DRS range and went on managing the gap to Hamilton throughout the race to claim his 12th career victory.

“It’s just like everything else, I keep on working on it, trying to make everything perfect,” Rosberg replied when asked to describe his solid launch. “Today it worked out to keep first. That was important, maybe the most important part of the race. I’m very happy about that.”

Having started on Pirelli’s yellow-marked soft tyres, Rosberg made these last until Lap 27 when he pitted for medium rubber. Mercedes assured him that this set would go until the end, but the race leader was told to box again on Lap 46.

Although Rosberg was not entirely sure about the strategy initially, it turned out to be a great call a few moments later when the Safety Car came out after Sebastian Vettel smashed his Ferrari at Turn 7.

“At the time [of the second stop], it was not so good. I did not want to come in. I was really comfortable with the tyres, I had a good gap to Lewis and this was going to reset things a little bit.

“I was not too happy with that but I understand, it was the better thing to do, especially with the Safety Car that came out. It was important to have fresher tyres.”

“I was able to control the race. The only moment that was a bit difficult was the restart with the old tyres but it was OK.”

Rosberg did not falter when the race neutralisation ended, and fended off Hamilton's challenge in the closing stages to claim his fourth win this year, his first since Austria last June.

After taking the chequered flag, Rosberg drove to the stadium section where parc fermé and the podium ceremony had been cleverly set up. Succeeding 1992 Mexican Grand Prix winner Nigel Mansell in the books, the German really soaked in the cheerful atmosphere.

“It’s the best podium of the year, in a beautiful stadium like that. In the end, the atmosphere was unbelievable. I’m really thankful for the Mexican fans that came today, for the massive support also. It was pretty special.”

REPORT: Rosberg holds off Hamilton in Mexican GP as Vettel crashes

AS IT HAPPENED: Mexican Grand Prix

Click here for the F1 drivers' girlfriends gallery

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter