Jenson Button described the Brazilian Grand Prix as an extraordinarily tough race after emerging on top of a nailbiting event.
The McLaren driver, starting from second behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, first fought with his compatriot and then with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg as the weather made the conditions very tricky on track.
Button's path towards victory was cleared when Hulkenberg and Hamilton collided, the Briton retiring and the German getting a penalty.
The win was Button's third of the 2012 season and it means he finished just two points behind Hamilton.
"One of the toughest races I have ever had," said Button. "The conditions were very tricky and at that point many times where you think inters are the right tyre.
"You are locking up the tyres here and there. You just have to push to the limit and wait for the team to give you the info. It is not just about driving the car, you need all the info out there.
"It was a really good race, and things were made difficult with the first safety car. The race was between me and Nico then, so it was made a lot more difficult and when I came in I struggled."
Button admitted he was sorry Hamilton had to retire from the race, as he was enjoying the battle with him.
"It's sad that Lewis isn't here to enjoy his last race with the team but that is racing and these things happen.
"I would like to bid him farewell. We had a good time together that last three years and we proved it in the first 10 laps when we had a good fight."
The McLaren racer also praised Hulkenberg's effort.
"I don't think we expected to see a Force India today," he said. "F1 is closer in terms of regulations. Not having many regulation changes brings the field very close and we will see that next year."