Contact with Fernando Alonso was unavoidable at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix, reckoned Kimi Raikkonen, who claimed he was left with no room to manouvre by the world championship leader.
The Finn touched Alonso's left rear wheel as the Spaniard braked for the first corner.
The Ferrari driver suffered a puncture that sent him into a spin and out of the race.
Alonso's retirement meant the Spaniard is now just four points ahead of race winner Sebastian Vettel with five races to go.
"I was on the left hand side all the way since the very beginning of the start," said Raikkonen. "He kept coming left more and more. I tried to go further left but I had nowhere to go.
"They all came over on my side and touched my front wing so I couldn't go anywhere else."
Raikkonen went on to finish in sixth position, and while he admitted the result was not great, he at least found consolation in having reduced the gap to Alonso in the standings.
The Finn is now 37 points behind.
"We lost some time there and our second pitstop wasn't the best, so overall it was quite a difficult race," he said. "The good thing is we still managed to score points to stay in touch in the championship.
"Sixth wasn't the result we were hoping for but unfortunately we didn't have the speed to do better today."
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Fernando Alonso
- Japanese Grand Prix