Toto Wolff believes Nico Rosberg was performing 'at his best' in the Bahrain Grand Prix after fighting back from a poor start and pit-stop slips to plant successful passes on both Ferraris.

Starting third, the German lost out from the opening turns to Kimi Raikkonen, but aggressive moves on both him and Sebastian Vettel before lap eight would see him back up to second position by the first round of pit-stops.

However, with Vettel getting the jump on him through the pit-stops, Rosberg was forced to do it all again, last year's runner-up once more using the turn one right-hander as his passing place of choice.

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Though Rosberg would eventually be demoted to third by the end when he suffered a brake failure and he was no match for race winning team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Wolff was still full of praise for his determined overtakes.

"Everybody who ever doubted Nico saw Nico at his best, fighting hard and overtaking," he said. "Losing that position because of a brake failure is a bit of a pity, but all in all a one, three must be satisfactory and that is Formula One at its best I would say.

Going forward, Wolff admits Rosberg must recover his former advantage in qualifying if he is to have a chance of getting on terms with form man Hamilton any time soon.

"[He must] Qualify on pole and control the race from there. We can see that Lewis qualifying on pole and running away and being in control of the race was similar to what we had in China. He was the key to scoring maximum points.

"We are four races into the season and there are another 15 left, so I have no doubt that after his driving today, which was exceptional, we will have a very strong Nico bouncing back in Barcelona."

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I think Nico is being told to do Mercedes kind of multi 21. Lewis is doing a Red Bull Vettel style of get on pole, can most time win the race in the first 2 laps before DRS is enable.