Charles Leclerc received clarity from his Ferrari team over the radio regarding its decisions to swap him with team-mate Carlos Sainz in the United States Grand Prix, before he was disqualified.
Leclerc vented frustration over his race strategy, with Ferrari attempting a one-stopper for the pole-sitter.
In the closing laps, Leclerc faded badly as the two-stop became evident as the quickest strategy, with team-mate Sainz coasting up behind, with Leclerc instructed to let Sainz past for fourth.
Leclerc obliged but questioned the decision over the radio - unaware that Sergio Perez was hunting down his team-mate.
Sainz would finish fourth on the road, Perez fifth and Leclerc sixth, but hours after the race, the Monegasque driver, along with Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes were both disqualified for excessive plank wear.
As Hamilton had finished second, this promoted Lando Norris to runner-up, but crucially for Ferrari meant Sainz banked another podium - something that could have been under threat if Leclerc did not let the Spaniard through.
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Leclerc rues one-stop strategy
"I actually understood the choice 10 seconds later when they reopened the radio and told me that Checo was behind coming back a little bit on Carlos,” Leclerc told media including RacingNews365, before news of the technical breach filtered through.
"Then I understood that obviously, we couldn't afford to fight between cars.
"I completely understand the reason at the end, as soon as they told me that, I got it and just got on with my race."
After failing to convert his pole into a win, Leclerc has gone 10 pole positions without a win - the last time he did so being the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.
He had retired from the lead in three of those, but felt a much better result was on the cards, before the disqualification made it academic.
"We could have and I could have done many things so it's very difficult but a better [result] than P6 [was possible] I'm sure,” Leclerc said.
"Whether it was P3 or P4, I don’t know. But definitely a better result than P6, for sure.”