Ferrari technical director James Allison conceded Sebastian Vettel did not "have his best day in the office" after finishing fifth in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The four-time champion was tipped as a threat for victory by Lewis Hamilton after qualifying, but ended up dropping out of contention after he ran wide and damaged his front wing while fighting for second with Nico Rosberg.
Vettel, who started from second, had also gone off track earlier during the race.
"I think he would have preferred a better race than what he had today," said Allison of Vettel's race.
"He made one or two errors that took it away from him.
"It wasn't his best day in the office, but he's been driving well all weekend and all year, so it's one of those things."
Allison praised Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn charged to second place thanks to a very strong middle stint on medium tyres while his rival were running softs.
"His pace was good on both tyres," Allison added.
"The reason why he was able to be in touch at the end of the race was that all through that middle stint when he was on the prime tyre he was not losing any ground to the others, even though they were on the option.
"That was what set up the end of the race."