Valtteri Bottas had to allow Lewis Hamilton through on two occasions at the Bahrain Grand Prix
Bottas started the race on pole with Lewis Hamilton in second but the Brit dropped to third from the start.
However, Sebastian Vettel took the lead in the first round of pit stops and Bottas was told to let Hamilton through in the second and third stints so he could chase the Ferrari.
"As a racing driver, it's the worst thing you want to hear," Bottas said.
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"I did it because there was potential that Lewis could challenge Sebastian.
"In the end it didn't happen but the team tried which I completely understand.
"I see the point but it's still tough when you're trying to focus on your personal race.
"Personally, it's tough but that's life.
"I didn't have enough pace today and we need to find the reasons why."
Despite struggling with his rear tyres, Bottas also claimed he could have held Hamilton off and finished second as opposed to third.
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Valtteri Bottas felt he might have been able to hold off Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix
And the Brit was appreciative of his team-mate's grace in allowing him through.
"Thanks to Valtteri for being a gentleman out there," Hamilton said.
"It was a very difficult race and it didn't start out the best."
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff reiterated the team's equal driver policy after the race and shied away from the topic of whether he would eventually pick one driver over the other.
However, Hamilton now has a 23-point lead over his team-mate and the title already appears to be a two-horse race between himself and Vettel.