Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Michael Schumacher "passed the baton" on to Sebastian Vettel when he allowed the Champion to pass him at Interlagos.
Although seventh place would have been good enough to help Vettel to secure his third consecutive title, Schumacher didn't put up a fight and moved over to allow his German compatriot to move up to sixth during the closing stages of the Brazilian GP.
Horner says Red Bull are grateful for the retiring seven-time World Champion's "gracious" gesture on Sunday.
"Michael very graciously gave him P6 and that was enough to convert his third consecutive World Championship," said Horner.
"Michael is renowned for being a tough racer. I think it was his gesture to Sebastian, almost like passing the baton on.
"I'm sure it was not particularly well received at his former employer [Ferrari] but I thought it was very magnanimous of Michael to move out of the way for his fellow countryman."