Nico Rosberg says his "heartbeat skipped a beat" at the start of the Malaysian GP when Sebastian Vettel squeezed him towards the wall.
With Lewis Hamilton storming into the lead from pole position, Rosberg and Vettel were left to fight over second off the line.
It was a close call for the Mercedes driver as Vettel crossed the track, squeezing him towards the wall.
"I had a really good start, so I was happy about that because it's not so easy this year," he said.
"The rear tyres are harder and we have more torque. So it's very difficult to get it right - but it felt great and got away well.
"Then Sebastian, I thought he was going to put me right into the wall, but he stopped just before - so thank you for that!"
Vettel responded: "I had a similar experience last year...'
Rosberg, though, was quick to point out "that doesn't make it right to do it again!
"My heartbeat skipped a beat a little bit but I kept right on it, it was OK anyway, it wasn't that bad.
"Then I had a bit of a moment in Turn Three, a bit of a tail, tank-slapper and that allowed them all to get another run on me, but it all worked out."
As the race panned out, Rosberg attempted to catch Hamilton for the lead, however, the British driver was too quick on the day and stormed to his first win of the season.
Rosberg was second, giving Mercedes their first 1-2 result since the 1955 Italian GP.
"I was just trying to chase Lewis but he was a bit too quick," added the German.
"It was a bit difficult out there because the track was really poor, it seemed, sliding so much, and just struggling with the rear tyres especially. That made it a bit difficult out there."