Nico Rosberg said he fully understood Mercedes' request for him to hold position behind teammate Lewis Hamilton in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Rosberg was adamant he was faster than Hamilton as he caught the third-placed Briton in the closing stages. But team boss Ross Brawn asked both to back off, conserve fuel and tires, and come home third and fourth.
Although Rosberg had urged Brawn to reconsider over the radio, after the race he said the squad's instructions had been correct.
"It's a team effort and I respected the team's opinion," said Rosberg. "It was an important day. We've had such a tough time in past years, so to be third and fourth, and fighting the Red Bulls, is such a milestone.
"For the team to want us to bring it home third and fourth is fully understandable and I know if it had been the other way around they would've done the same thing. There will be times to fight between teammates in the future."
Hamilton said subsequently that he would be happy to return the favor in a future race, but Rosberg said that would not be necessary.
"It's nice to hear him say that. It was fair play from me today," he said. "I wouldn't say they owe me one because I understand. I drive for Mercedes and the guys at home who put their life into building the cars and do such a fantastic job.
"Of course there's a small side of me that wants to go flat-out all the way to the end and be the one on the podium, but the time will come for that."