Alex de Angelis said he was "totally devastated" after being involved in the accident that killed Shoya Tomizawa during the San Marino GP.
De Angelis and Scott Redding hit Tomizawa after the Japanese fell in the early part of the race.
"I'm totally devastated by what has happened to Shoya," de Angelis said in a statement. "I feel for his family and for everyone who loved him," added de Angelis, who said the post-race quotes issued by his team were published before Tomizawa's death was confirmed.
"As for the race, I gave my quotes immediately after the crash, when I didn't yet know the seriousness of the consequences, and at the moment I don't intend to say anymore; at times like this, everything is overshadowed."
Tomizawa's Suter Racing team said there was nothing de Angelis or Redding could have done to avoid the crash.
"I also feel sorry for de Angelis and our rider Scott Redding," Suter Racing's CEO Eskil Suter said. "After the initial suspicion of a fractured pelvis, Scott was cleared of serious injuries. But mentally he is completely shattered even though nothing that happened was his fault. Today was a sad reminder that racing remains dangerous despite all improvements in track safety."
Suter admitted his team was also devastated. "Shoya was more than a friend. He was like a family member," said Suter. "He was loved by everybody in the paddock and I am terribly sorry for his family and his team who suffered this tragic loss."