Kevin Magnussen says there was little he could do to avoid a collision with Felipe Massa after the pair came together at the first turn of the German Grand Prix.
Starting in fourth position, Magnussen got a good start and was following Valtteri Bottas ahead of him on the inside line of the turn one right-hander, when Massa targeted the same apex, albeit from the outside.
Prompting contact between the two, the tangle tipped Massa into a dramatic roll and out of the race. While the Brazilian was unharmed in what is now his third first lap crash of the year, he has laid blame squarely at the McLaren driver, branding him 'aggressive'.
However, the Dane – who was able to continue – played down the assertion it was his fault, claiming he had nowhere to go.
“If I had another place to go I wouldn't have made contact, so I am sorry about the situation but I did my best and tried to avoid it…. there wasn't much else I could do.”
Pitting for tyres and a new nose, Magnussen was able to catch up with the pack, where he steadily picked his way up the order to finish ninth for two points. However, while the defending FR3.5 champion was pleased with the pace of his McLaren, he was disappointed with the outcome.
“I spent the first half of the race coming through from the back of the field. Really, it wasn't the best thing that could happen.
“Still, there are some positives from today – the car behaved extremely well; the rear tyres held on – which is something new for this car, it's usually a bigger problem to keep the rears alive, but today it was okay.
“I'm happy to come away with some points, but I'm disappointed because we should have scored more. I hope we can be on the pace and get a decent result in Hungary next week.”
McLaren-Mercedes racing director Eric Boullier, meanwhile, was also in full support of his driver, saying Magnussen was 'blameless' in a crash that cost him a shot at a top four finish.
“Kevin's turn one incident at the start was very unfortunate; he'd made a great getaway, and was pushing to stay close to Valtteri Bottas. Massa was on the outside and probably didn't see Kevin, who was on the inside line, and had nowhere to go. Kevin was quite blameless in the accident, so it's even more annoying that it destroyed his chances of finishing in the top four.”