Lewis Hamilton has revealed he was "very shocked" his Mercedes Formula 1 team ordered him to move aside for team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton started from the pitlane and went off on the opening lap in the wet but he was helped by two safety cars in the first half of the race and utilised a two-stop strategy to eventually recover to third.
Rosberg, who had started from pole but dropped down the order under the first safety car, was on a three-stop strategy and still needed to pit for a new set of soft tyres when he caught his medium-shod team-mate with one-third of the race remaining.
The Briton was told over the radio to let Rosberg through, to which Hamilton replied "I'm not letting him past me, if he gets close enough to overtake he can overtake."
He kept the championship leader behind for eight laps until Rosberg made his final stop.
Rosberg was able to catch Hamilton before the end of the race but was unable to pass his team-mate and has seen his lead cut to 11 points.
"Obviously I am aware that I was in the same race as him, just because he had one more stop than me doesn't mean I am not in same race," Hamilton argued.
"If I let him past then he could pull away and come back at me later.
"I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that [move aside].
"He didn't get close enough to overtake, I was not going to lift off and lose ground to Fernando [Alonso] or Daniel [Ricciardo], so it was a bit strange."
The 2008 world champion admitted it was difficult to bounce back from yet another disappointment in qualifying, but he was satisfied to claim a second-successive podium after starting at the back.
However, despite taking three points off Rosberg's lead Hamilton said he viewed the weekend as a missed opportunity in the championship.
"This is damage limitation," he added. "I was just pushing as hard as I could to get as high as I could.
"I cannot explain the pain you feel when you have issues such as issues I have had in last couple of races.
"It is difficult to swallow, and to come back next day and attack.
"You are pushing way beyond what you would do if you were on pole position.
"It feels satisfying coming through [and] to be ahead and still in the fight is still encouraging."