Toto Wolff claimed Mercedes is "punching above our weight" after stealing a podium from the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton pounced on a late double retirement for Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to finish third, with team-mate George Russell following home in fourth.
Although the W13 appeared to be the third-fastest car on the grid, both Hamilton and Russell were left trailing eventual race winner Charles Leclerc by close to a second a lap before the safety car was deployed late on.
"It's how you manage expectations, if we would have come here last year third and fourth, it would have been very frustrating," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.
"But I think we are punching above our weight class. With the Red Bulls DNFing, third and fourth for us is a fantastic result."
Mercedes has long dominated the power unit side of the sport but in Bahrain, all eight cars powered by its engines were down in the speed trap compared to Ferrari and Red Bull.
"I think we were probably overwinged, we had too much drag and that is just because we are lacking parts at the moment," said Wolff, downplaying a potential shortcoming in the power unit.
"Hopefully, we can remedy that. That is half or maybe more of the top speed disadvantage but we really need to leave no stone unturned on the power unit side."