Carlos Sainz has revealed "clear instructions" from Ferrari to aid Charles Leclerc at the F1 season finale.
Ferrari arrived in Abu Dhabi with the chance of securing second in both the drivers' and constructors' championship standings.
Both of these objectives were met with Leclerc finishing second to Max Verstappen and Sainz taking the chequered flag in fourth.
The Ferrari pair had started the race alongside one another on the second row of the grid and the team made sure the Spaniard was aware of his job for the 58 laps.
"I think we worked as a team," said Sainz.
"I had clear instructions before the race to not fight him at the start or around the pit stops.
“We executed a good weekend in that sense and I am happy for him, honestly, because I really think he deserves that P2."
Leclerc deserves accolade
Leclerc was the early championship leader after securing two wins from the first three races but after Red Bull fixed its reliability woes, Verstappen romped away at the top of the standings.
This left the Monégasque in a close battle for second with Sergio Perez and the two were level on points heading into the season finale.
But for Sainz, there is little doubt that his team-mate was worthy of finishing the year as the runner-up.
"I think he deserved to finish second this year," Sainz added.
"He has been super-strong all year with this generation of cars. He has been driving extremely well and I may have to adapt and change a bit my driving to try and be closer to him.
“Congrats, because he did a great season on his side on his driving and he deserves that P2 in front of Checo.”