Fernando Alonso could have won the Bahrain Grand Prix but for the DRS failure that forced him to make two unscheduled pit-stops, according to Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali.
The Spaniard's DRS rear wing stuck open while running second on lap seven, forcing him into the pits for emergency repairs. The problem recurred when he returned to the track, however, forcing him straight back into the pits.
Domenicali believes that the pace Alonso showed in recovering to eighth place suggests he could have been a victory contender.
"It is a bit unfortunate, because with the performance that Fernando had today we could have done an incredible job," said Domenicali. "He was flying without the DRS, he was overtaking without the DRS - it's difficult to ask more than that from Fernando.
"I don't want to say that we would have been able to win because it is easy to say that, but theoretically it was possible."
Domenicali would not confirm the exact details of the DRS problem, but did confirm that it was not related to the hydraulics of the actuator. Television footage suggests that the upper element of the wing had over-extended, meaning that it was unable to return to its starting position
"It is a mechanical problem, not a hydraulic problem," he said. "He [Fernando] was convinced that there was a problem with the rear tires going away earlier than we were expected but we saw from the data that there was this problem on the rear wing. So we had to call him in because the regulations force us to do it.
"We put it back and it seemed that the situation was right and then suddenly we saw the problem came back again.
"We had to call him back and then after that moment it was clear there was a real issue on the wing and we said to him not to use it again."
When pressed on the reason why the team made the error of activating the DRS after the initial problem, Domenicali blamed the lack of time in the pits.
"You try to react in the seconds you have to look at it and that is the reason [for] what happened," said Domenicali. "It was unfortunate and we have to accept it and need to react for the future."