McLaren boss Ron Dennis said the decision not to make Lewis Hamilton stop during the safety car period came because the team did not expect the race to be under caution for so many laps.
The safety car was deployed on lap 36 after Toyota's Timo Glock crashed heavily against the pit wall due to an apparent mechanical problem in his car.
The accident left lots of debris on the pit straight and the safety car stayed on track for six laps, during which most drivers pitted.
Hamilton, however, stayed out and had to pit later from the lead, having to regain four places before he was back on top and cruised to victory.
Dennis said after the race that the team did not expect such a long safety car period, which was the main reason for not making Hamilton pit.
"I think there are two aspects to it," Dennis told reporters. "Of course if you do one thing with one car and one thing with another, one of the decisions is going to be right. We had quite a lot of fuel in Lewis's car.
"At the time the safety car came out it was more than enough to take a few safety laps and then pull out the lead.
"And I think the way it could have worked was demonstrated by Heidfeld and by Piquet, who stayed out. Obviously Piquet on one stop gave him a second place, and Heidfeld who took places because of it.
"The safety car stayed out longer than we anticipated because we just didn't see: the car was behind the barrier, we didn't think they would have to move the car. We just thought there was some debris on the circuit. It took much longer for the safety car to come in than we anticipated and then there wasn't enough time.
"The other thing is we had pace. For most of the race we were lapping three quarters of a second faster than any other car.
"So we didn't feel it was the best way to cover off the decision and, yeah, in the benefit of hindsight maybe we should have double-shuffled the cars but that's with the benefit of hindsight.
"It's not what our strategists said, and it is not a decision taken from the pit wall, it was a decision taken in Woking."
Dennis, whose team apologised to Hamilton over the radio after the race, praised the Briton's performance and said his team were comfortable faster all day.
"He did a fantastic race. There is no question about that. I think it was the first stint was just blistering pace, and through the whole race we were comfortably quicker through the whole race. Comfortably quicker."