Ross Brawn admits it was 'tough' for Nico Rosberg to hold station behind Lewis Hamilton but that the German's time will come.
Racing behind the two Red Bull drivers, Hamilton was in third place with his team-mate fast approaching.
Rosberg, though, was told not to attack and despite pleading "let me pass" listened to his boss when he was told no.
The duo crossed the line third and fourth, arguably Mercedes' best result since last year's victory in China.
"This weekend was another step in the right direction for the team," said Brawn. "The team made the right calls on strategy.
"We had a heavier than expected fuel consumption during the race and as we got towards the end, we had to take some measures to ensure that both cars finished."
The team boss explained: "We asked Lewis and Nico to hold position and both drivers respected that.
"Whilst it was tough for Nico and I fully expect him to be disappointed, we have now got a car we can fight with and that there will be plenty more opportunities to achieve good results this season.
"We've got to concentrate on keeping up the pace of development but we can take pride in achieving our first podium of the season."