Lando Norris said he was "devastated" by the late call which cost him a first Formula One victory at the Russian Grand Prix.
Norris was four laps away from a first win when a rain shower threw the Sochi race wide open. The McLaren driver had been holding off Lewis Hamilton in the dry, with the pair over 40 seconds clear of the next car.
Hamilton made the call to pit -- after ignoring Mercedes' first request -- but Norris stayed out, twice ignoring McLaren's requests to come in for intermediates.
It quickly became obvious Norris had made the wrong call as he struggled to keep the car on the race track. By the time he had tiptoed around the race track and made it to the pits on the penultimate lap, he had dropped to eighth, although he was able to pass Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap to finish seventh.
"Obviously unhappy... devastated in a way," a visibly emotional Norris said after the race. "I guess we made a call to stay out and we stand by that call, of course the wrong one at the end.
"I made the decision as much as the team, more they thought I should box and I decided to stay out.
"My decision, I thought it was the way to go."
Norris had secured the first pole position of his F1 career on Saturday and was agonisingly close to converting that to a first win on Sunday. He said his performance until the late race shower was a positive he can focus on.
"I had the confidence beforehand.I've felt capable of doing it for a while, but just a bit of heartbreak you know.
"I felt like I did everything I could even when it got tricky.
"I made a couple of mistakes and still kept Lewis behind. The laps I was out, before Lewis boxed, it was perfectly fine for the tyres I was on, got told the rain would be the same amount, but it obviously got a lot wetter than we as a team expected."
Norris was given a reprimand after the race for overshooting the entry to the pit lane and crossing the white line dividing it with the track when he came in for intermediate tyres on the penultimate lap.
He had to drive back across the line to make the pit-lane, something which is usually punishable by a time penalty, but the stewards decided on a reprimand in the circumstances.
"The stewards heard from the driver of Car 4 (Lando Norris) and team representative, reviewed the video, radio and telemetry evidence and determined that a breach of the regulations had been committed," an FIA statement read.
"This was not considered as force majeure because it does not comply with the definition of force majeure in Article 20 of the FIA International Sporting Code. However, the stewards took into account that on the previous lap the driver of Car 4 had passed through Turn 17 (adjacent to the Pit Entry) at a relatively high speed, without loss of control.
"During the ensuing lap, the conditions deteriorated rapidly and were varied in different parts of the circuit. The driver slowed considerably on entering the pit entry, with his speed approximately half of his normal pit entry speed, but still lost control and slid across the painted area between the pit entry and the track.
"Although obviously the driver chose to remain out on the track on hard compound slick tyres when others chose to change to intermediates, and therefore sought to gain an advantage in retaining his race position, we do not consider that the crossing of the painted area was intentional or predictable in the circumstances."