Rubens Barrichello says he was not trying to pass Nico Rosberg when he made contact with the Mercedes GP driver during the Australian Grand Prix.
Barrichello crashed into Rosberg's car in what looked like an optimistic passing move at Turn 3. Rosberg was forced to retire while Barrichello continued only to be forced out on lap 49.
The Williams driver said he was actually defending from Kamui Kobayashi when he crashed into Rosberg, and blamed the different tire grip for the crash. Barrichello was nonetheless encouraged by the pace of his car during the race.
"It was a tough race for us," said Barrichello. "I was pushed out a little bit at the start, but then I had a good rhythm going and was doing quite a lot of overtaking until the incident with Rosberg. I wasn't planning on overtaking him at that point, I was defending from Kobayashi.
"I think we have one tire with grip and one with less and so we have different braking points. Rosberg braked earlier, and was already in the middle of the corner before I could stop the car. The '33' was competitive today, which is positive going into the next race."
Teammate Pastor Maldonado also retired from his first Formula 1 race, the Venezuelan stopping on track after just 10 laps.
"We don't know exactly what happened with the car; we will have to look into the problem with our engineers," he said. "There was no warning, we just stopped and that was it for us.
"The start was great, though. There were some big moments going into the first two corners, but I came through them OK. I was then getting settled into the race, everything was feeling OK in the car, I felt good and then it went. I'll now just look forward to getting back out there again in Malaysia."