Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says achieving a third-place finish at the Bahrain GP was a “fantastic result” given the circumstances.

The Silver Arrows have struggled since pre-season testing and did not expect to achieve a podium, as they are behind the top two teams – Ferrari and Red Bull.

However, they managed a third-place finish with Lewis Hamilton at Bahrain due to reliability issues for Red Bull. Speaking to Sky Sports, Wolff said the team is punching above their weight class.

“You can see how we manage the expectations,” he said. “If we would have come third and fourth in last year’s [race], it would have been very, very frustrating but, this year, I think we are punching above our weight class. With Red Bull’s DNFs, I think third and fourth is a fantastic result.”

“I think, with a soft tire, on pure pace before the tire degrades, we are almost there,” he explained. “Not where [Charles] Leclerc is but with the others, but then degradation is too big”

Wolff explained that the team’s strategy of going with the hard tires didn’t work out as expected.

“Obviously, we tried to do something different by putting the hard but that was putting our hand in the toilet.

“It was really a second slower, every single lap – lesson learned. So maybe that 35 seconds is a bit against us.”

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