Toto Wolf has said the gap between the Japanese and United States Grands Prix allowed Lewis Hamilton to regroup and "let off steam".
The Brit came under fire at the race at Suzuka for his off-track behaviour, including Snapchatting during a press conference and refusing to engage with written media.
However, Wolff says that the gap after the event, which followed his engine failure in Malaysia, allowed Hamilton to recover.
"Suzuka was very different," Wolff told Autosport. "We had just come out of Malaysia where he had lost the win - 25 points gone - and he would have made up that gap in the championship."
"Then it started with the press conference and it went into a spiral," he admitted. "He then had 10 days to recover and he came back strong. He let off steam."
He did however reveal that Hamilton and indeed the team are still haunted by the engine failure at Sepang.
"I understand that Malaysia came out of nowhere and Malaysia stings all of us," he conceded. "That little trauma is going to remain for a while."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing