Lewis Hamilton made the podium at the Bahrain Grand Prix only due to a double Red Bull retirement but accepted it was the best result he could have hoped for.
As Mercedes' struggles with their new W13 car continued, Hamilton was never in contention on Sunday, running in fifth for much of the race.
Hamilton congratulated victor Charles Leclerc and the Scuderia – "they're such a historic, epic team, so it's great to see them up there," he said – but was also content with his own finish.
"It was such a difficult race," he explained. "We struggled throughout practice. This was really the best result we could have got.
"Obviously it was unfortunate for the other two drivers, but we did the best we could and we're grateful for these points."
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff agreed, telling Sky Sports: "You can see how we've managed expectations.
"If we'd come in last year third and fourth, it would have been very frustrating, but this year I think we are punching above our weight class with the Red Bulls DNFing. Third and fourth is a fantastic result."
Mercedes must now turn attention to making their car competitive for the rest of the season, yet Hamilton is staying patient.
"I'm hoping [for upgrades]," Hamilton said. "I know the guys are working really hardback at the factory, but it's not going to be a quick turnaround.
"We all know as a team, we've been the best-unified team for so long, we all know to keep our head down, keep working. There's a long, long way to go."