Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has said his team will not single out individuals to blame for the strategy mistake that cost Fernando Alonso the championship in Abu Dhabi.
Alonso only needed to finish in fourth place at the Yas Marina circuit on Sunday to secure the crown, but a strategy error in making an early switch to prime tires to cover title rival Mark Webber left him stuck behind Renault's Vitaly Petrov for the rest of the race. That left Alonso down in seventh at the chequered flag and meant he missed out on the title to race winner Sebastian Vettel by four points.
Afterwards Domenicali owned up to the error that Ferrari had made, but said there was little point highlighting the decision-making process of who had made the wrong call.
"It was a mistake," explained Domenicali. "Afterwards it is pretty clear it was a mistake, but at this moment I want to keep a clear vision – it is not good to say who took the decision or why it was taken. It was a team decision, and in the good and the bad moments the team has to stay together.
"The reason why we felt that [they needed to stop], was that there was tire degradation that we had on the Friday and then we were basically thinking that to overtake the backmarkers, the ones in the middle, would have been much easier. That is the fact and the mistake of the strategy of today."
Despite the deep disappointment of missing out on the title, Domenicali said it was important that his team kept its spirit because it had still been able to take the world title fight to the final round of the season against the faster Red Bull Racing team.
"At that moment it is important to keep your heads up because we need to remember where we were in the season, and no one would have bet any money for us to be here to fight for something," he said. "At the end of the day I said to the guys, sport is very painful at certain moments, we know. I was with Sebastian Vettel in Korea when he was leading because we don't have to forget all these things."
Domenicali also said criticism that his team had lost the title in Abu Dhabi was unjustified because the season was decided over 19 races, not just one.
"It is easy in this moment to focus that we lost the championship here, but it is not true," he said. "It is simply not true. If you put all the elements, one by one, together – you see at the end of the day that we achieved to fight for something here, but we did not lose the championship here, because they [Red Bull Racing] were stronger. That is a fact, and something we need to keep in mind. And it would be wrong to remember this race in the year of Ferrari 2010, because I think at the end of the day we need to think that without the best car, which is a fact, that we were able to arrive here [still in contention] so we need to be proud of it. And that is my view."