Vitaly Petrov says he would not have risked a crash with Fernando Alonso, had the Ferrari driver tried a move on the Russian in an attempt to keep his title hopes alive.
Alonso's race was ruined when he emerged from his pitstop behind Petrov's Renault and he could not find a way past for the remainder of the race.
But Petrov says he was aware of the championship situation and, although he was fighting his own battle, he would have tried to avoid contact between them.
"I just did my job," he said. "If he had tried a move, then I didn't want to crash with him, but it didn't come to that. I came here to fight, and race every other driver, and I think I showed today that I can fight.
"We pitted under the safety car, which was the right decision, and after that I just tried to push while looking after the tyres because I knew that the plan was to go to the finish.
"I had a long battle with Fernando, but the car had good top speed today so I was able to control the situation. I am proud of my team and the good job we did."