Paris: Fernando Alonso's failure by just four points to win the Formula One world title in Abu Dhabi was in part blamed on "impulsive and erroneous decisions" by a top Ferrari official.
Alonso went into the season-concluding race this month with the 2010 crown seemingly his to lose.
And that is precisely what happened as the Spaniard trailed in seventh to narrowly miss out on his third world championship to Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel.
Recalling the circumstances surrounding Alonso's failed bid Ferrari's technical director Aldo Costa targeted one incident in particular when Alonso found himself stuck behind Vitaly Petrov emerging back onto the Yas Marina circuit after his early pit stop.
Costa told Italian daily La Repubblica: "~We got it wrong. We didn't approach the race to do our best but to obtain an average result that would have been sufficient.
"And when you do that a little thing, a 'Petrov', a safety car, comes along and everything falls apart.”
Costa revealed the mood in the Ferrari garage when they realised their title hopes had gone up in smoke was bleak.
"When Fernando crossed the line we were all frozen. For five or ten minutes we stared at the monitor.”
"No one budged, no one took off their helmets. No one spoke. No one wanted to accept the reality."
Costa, who confessed that he had had "many a nightmare" over the defeat, then took aim at what he termed were the "team orders" given to Torro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari who he complained allowed Red Bull's Mark Webber to overtake him too easily.
He said that manoeuvre had led to Ferrari's faulty strategy with Alonso.
"We made impulsive and erroneous decisions."
In conclusion Costa insisted that responsibilty for Abu Dhabi should not fall on the shoulders of one man alone.
"Let's be clear, we didn't lose the championship because of our strategy in Abu Dhabi, but because our car was too slow."
First Published: Thursday, November 25, 2010, 10:29