Jenson Button believes he could have challenged for victory had he not been caught up in the first-corner carnage at Spa-Francorchamps.
The McLaren driver made it through to third place despite having only qualified 13th. But Button was convinced he had the pace to battle Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, regardless of his starting position, had he not needed to make an early pitstop to attend to damage from the multi-car contact at La Source.
"I think if I had stayed in 13th after the start it would have been a lot easier to challenge these guys [the Red Bulls]," said Button.
"Turn 1 was mayhem caused by the guys up front. [Paul] di Resta hit my rear wing, damaged my rear wing, half the endplate was gone and driving to Eau Rouge someone's rear wing came off and went through my front wing and took the mirror off. It was a bit scary. The guys said keep going until lap five, we did – then put options on and did rest of race with them.
"It was a enjoyable race. You're always going to say what could have been, but it's a good finish to get on the podium after Seb drove into me last year!"
Button believes the McLaren was even more competitive at Spa than it had been when winning at the Nurburgring and Hungaroring.
"All weekend the car felt great," said Button. "For me the balance has been phenomenal, it felt like we had made a step forward from Hungary so to come away with third is disappointing but you have to take third into account.
"Who knows what would have happened if we had qualified third – hopefully in two weeks we can turn it all around."