No Malaysian Grand Prix is seemingly ever complete without a controversy over team orders, and this year it came courtesy of Williams F1 drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

Massa was told to make way for Bottas in the closing stages of Sunday's race in Sepang to allow the Finn to attempt to overtake McLaren's Jenson Button, who was running just ahead of them on the road in sixth place. But the choice of words from pit wall telling Massa that "Valtteri is faster than you" possibly evoked bad memories of his time as Ferrari's number two driver, and he conspicuously refused to comply with the instruction.

"He didn't do what we would have preferred him to," admitted Williams' chief operations engineer Rod Nelson after the race as the team packed up in Malaysia and prepared to head to Bahrain for next weekend's race.

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"You've got to understand, we look to maximise constructors points whenever we go racing," he explained. "Felipe was running fairly high temperatures on his engine, and we were a little bit concerned about it. Valtteri had much fresher tyres certainly than Jenson did, so we thought that it would have been good to give Valtteri a go at getting past Jenson.

"If he hadn't achieved that in two or three laps then we would have swapped our drivers over again and everyone would have been happy," Nelson added.

"We felt that Valtteri stood a quite a good chance of getting past Button because his tyres were about five laps younger, and we felt that Felipe was compromised in that way because his tyres were a little bit older than Valtteri's and because he had a temperature problem," he continued. "If you look at the TV then you can see him pulling out to the right hand side to try and cool down the right hand side of the car, which was something Valtteri didn't have to do."

Nelson agreed that he and Williams race team manager Peter Vale would need to discuss the events of the day with both drivers to make sure everyone knew what had happened and why so that there was no similar tension in the future.

"We'll go through everything with the drivers tonight and discuss the situation and what we expect," he said. "It's not team orders it's a strategic decision based on the performance of the relative course of both cars.

"There's always something you're going to do which is going to cause a bit of a fuss, but it's fairly straightforward and it's the way that we work," he pointed out.

"There's nothing else going on in the background," he insisted. "We don't want to put one driver down and one driver up, we don't have team orders in that respect at Williams. We don't run like that.

"It's not like other teams where they have a number one driver and a number two driver: we have two number one drivers."