Oscar Piastri was "surprised" that McLaren imposed team orders on their drivers in the closing stages of the Qatar Grand Prix.
The Australian and teammate Lando Norris finished 1.1 seconds apart, but Team Principal Andrea Stella confirmed they imposed team orders after their final mandated pit stop.
Norris felt he was quicker on the fresher Hard tyres, but the team elected to conserve their double podium due to excessive tyre wear and conditions.
The 47 points they came away with over the weekend now puts them within striking distance of Aston Martin, who sit just 11 points ahead in fourth for the Constructors' Championship.
"I was a little bit surprised to be honest. I would have accepted it either way," Piastri told media, including RacingNews365.
"But obviously there was a lot of concerns about tyres and track limits and stuff. I think getting second and third for the team was the most important thing."
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Piastri: Heaven's parted on the way to P2
Piastri gained a lot of positions at the start of the race from sixth on the grid, with the Australian confirming that he effectively managed to stay out of trouble.
"Hit the brakes at the right time, and watch everyone else go off! Yeah, honestly, it was as simple as that," said Piastri.
"I don't really know what happened. Obviously, saw some cars spinning and whatever else but the heavens kind of just parted way for me and through to second I went."
McLaren has showed encouraging pace in the last few races, with them being the closest challengers to Red Bull.
The mandated stops enabled both drivers to go "flat out" according to Piastri, which enabled them to cut Max Verstappen's usual win margin from over 20 seconds to 4.8 seconds.
"I think this race was very different to Japan, obviously with three stops, I think we were basically pushing flat out for the whole race," explained Piastri.
""It's a very different kind of race. But, I think, still some work to go."