Lewis Hamilton pulled back Sebastian Vettel's runaway lead in the world championship to 21 points by winning the thrilling Chinese Grand Prix.
"At the end, Lewis was so much quicker it wasn't worth fighting so hard," he told the BBC.
German Vettel also struggled with a two-stop strategy compared to Hamilton's three, while Mark Webber in the sister Red Bull was smiling after a sensational run from 18th on the grid to finish third.
"Maybe the best thing to do is not even take part in qualifying and go from there," the Australian joked.
Hamilton's victory came less than two hours after his MP4-26 initially refused to start in the McLaren garage, and he came within seconds of having to start the race from the pitlane.
"It was not the greatest way to start out the afternoon but once it did start it went well," said boss Martin Whitmarsh.
Jenson Button, ultimately fourth at the flag, featured early but lost ground, also when he accidentally drove into the Red Bull pit area for a new set of tyres.
"I was looking down and when I looked back up I could see I was in the wrong place," he said.
"It was one of those races where there was a lot of overtaking and action, but I wasn't quick enough."
Hamilton's victory ended a four-race winning streak for Vettel.
"I think we tried too hard staying on two stops," said the German. "We did a couple of mistakes but still finished second so I'm very happy with that."