Unlike warring Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, with the former blatantly disregarding team orders to hold station over the closing dozen laps, Nico Rosberg respected the call from boss Ross Brawn.
After a duel following the fourth and final pit stop, Mercedes pair Hamilton and Rosberg traded places for a couple of laps before the Briton edged ahead.
Hamilton's pace, however, was not enough to keep him there as he was forced to save fuel, allowing Rosberg to again close and push for a pass.
At one stage Rosberg took to the team radio and said: "I'm so much faster than Lewis. Let me get past him."
Brawn, however, replied: "Negative Nico, negative. Lewis' pace is what we are asking him to do.
"He can go a lot faster as well, so please be in control as well."
A few laps later, with frustration growing, Rosberg repeated his request, but again Brawn told him to ease off.
Brawn said: "Nico, please drop back. There is a massive gap behind and nothing to gain in front. I want to bring these cars home."
Rosberg ultimately acceded, but after being thanked for his actions by Brawn as he pulled into the pits, the German pointedly stated: "Remember this one."
As for Hamilton, he was distinctly uncomfortable on the podium and had no qualms in expressing his feelings.
"If I'm honest it's Nico that should be standing here," said the 28-year-old.
"He deserves to be where I am. Obviously the team thought, with the position in the championship, it was logical to stay in the positions we were in.
"I have to offer big congratulations to Nico because he drove a much smarter and much more controlled race than I did."
A team meeting followed the race in which the air was cleared as he added: "We had a big team talk and everyone was fantastic.
"The team did a great job, and Nico did an exceptional job, showing great maturity.
"It was a very unique and difficult position for me to be in as well, so I'm going to work hard to make sure we're not in that again.
It was difficult for me to stay ahead and not let him past, and it was difficult for him to stay behind.
"I wanted to let him past, but we have orders. I said to Ross that I should have let him past, but he said 'Absolutely not. When I tell you this is what I want you to do, you have to stick by it'.
"So I'm glad I stuck by it and I didn't get into trouble in that sense.
"But hats off to Nico, he did a fantastic job, and he was driver of the day for me."
Although playing by the book, Rosberg was still clearly disgruntled at the situation as he said: "It was tough. I understand the team's point of view, but I also understood it at that moment.
"I wanted to go for it, go for the Red Bulls, to see what we could do.
"I don't know how far I would have got because I had to save a bit of fuel at the end.
"So it was difficult at that moment, but I understood because we've had tough times, very tough for the last year, or even more.
"It was such a great position to be in, and as a team you want to remove all the risks and bring the cars home.
"If we're there every race then you will see us fighting for position again, me and Lewis, if we manage to stay in that region."
As to his immediate post-race comment, Rosberg made clear he will be expecting payback in the future should a reverse situation occur.
"It was a reminder to them to remember that I played the game," said Rosberg.
Hamilton's embarrassment, though, did not end there as at the first pit stop he pulled into the McLaren pit box.
Clearly forgetting he was no longer part of his former team, Hamilton had to be waved through by his old pit crew before pulling in front of his own team's garage.
Explaining his actions, Hamilton said: "I'm so used to stopping at McLaren, it just happened. I don't know how I got it wrong.
"I did a Jenson (Button). He did that a couple of years ago, but big apologies to the team."