Pierre Gasly has revealed that Alpine told him to do qualifying laps until the end of the Singapore Grand Prix to hold off both Red Bull drivers.
Max Verstappen was climbing his way up the order and managed to get past Oscar Piastri, which enabled him to set his sights on Gasly in the closing stages.
Further back Sergio Perez's progress was hampered after being stuck for several laps behind Alex Albon, who he eventually made contact with in an overtake attempt at Turn 13.
Gasly described the final laps around the tight Marina Bay Street Circuit when speaking to F1 TV: "They told me basically just go for qualifying laps and the more I was pushing on these tyres, the slower I was going.
"I was just giving everything and I was hoping Piastri could hold them off a little bit longer, but as soon as you get past him suddenly I looked in the mirrors and he was catching like over a second and a half for lap.
"I knew that they were on a different strategy, I tried what I could but I understood that this wasn't going to gonna work."
Gasly finished in sixth at the chequered flag and 17 seconds behind Verstappen, who was close to catching Charles Leclerc for fourth.
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Gasly: That's why we prepare for Singapore
Singapore is known for being one of the toughest races on the calendar, largely due to the extreme heat that drivers experience in the cockpit during the race.
The overall race time was at 1 hour and 39 minutes which is shorter than the usual two hours, owing to the track changes for this year which cut ten seconds of lap times.
But this didn't make the challenge any easier for drivers according to Gasly, who says it is one of the races that they train for in pre-season.
"That's why we prepare, it's like all the work you're doing in January, February, March all the physical preparations. At the end it's for that specific race, for that the hardest and the toughest race of the season," he explained.
"It's specifically for Singapore, you can't start preparing like two weeks before.
"It was tough, lost quite a lot of water with a nice Safety Car at some point to get my breathing and flow back."