Lewis Hamilton says he was unaware his Mercedes team ordered Nico Rosberg to let him past, believing the German had in fact slowed due to a problem, rather than a team order.
Hamilton only learned of the gesture after the race during a post-race briefing, which prompted him to thank his team-mate for being a "gentleman".
"I knew when I was behind Nico I was much, much quicker than him but I couldn't see anything being in his spray," said Hamilton. "I was also conscious none of us will win this race [if I'm] stuck behind."
When asked about the position swap, Hamilton said: "I thought he had a problem so that's why I drove by.
"We have an agreement, which when the team asks you to push and you're not able to and it's hindering the team's chance of winning we have that agreement [to move over].
"But I didn't know until he just told me here [during Rosberg's briefing] so I said 'thanks for being a gentleman'."
Technical boss Paddy Lowe also thanked Rosberg for playing his part in the "overall team result".
"It came to the point where we told Nico he would either need to pick up the pace or let Lewis past," he explained.
"One lap later, he hadn’t managed to find that extra pace, so we asked him to move aside – which he did immediately. Great credit to Nico for his team ethic and playing for the overall team result."