Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane said Romain Grosjean lost out to Mark Webber at the end of the race because the team took a gamble on trying to beat both the Red Bulls.
Grosjean led almost half of the race but was passed by both Red Bulls during his final stint.
“What we could have done, and we discussed it at the time, was to forget about [Sebastian] Vettel and assume he was going to beat us anyway so go longer on that second stint,” Permane told Autosport.
“We may then have beaten Mark. But at the time we said, let’s just try and win. Let’s give it a go.”
“To gamble with second and third wasn’t a huge thing for us,” Permane added, because the team were already comfortably out-scoring Mercedes and Ferrari.
It was the second race in a row Lotus have taken points off their closest championship rivals, meaning the contest for second place in the teams’ points is very much a three-way fight. Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus are covered by 33 points with 172 up for grabs before the end of the season.
A key factor in Lotus’s recent gains has been the improving form of Grosjean. He scored podium finish in the last two races and was on course for another in Singapore before suffering an engine problem.