Lewis Hamilton was disappointed that what looked set to be his most competitive performance of the season at the German Grand Prix was ruined by a first-corner incident that left him at the back of the field.
Hamilton made a terrific getaway to lead on the run down to the first corner, but received a tap from Mark Webber's front wing, which was enough to puncture his right-rear tire.
The time loss from completing a slow lap back to the pits and from having a new tire fitted, dropped him a lap down, and the world champion was unable to recover from 18th place.
"The start was OK, and I got a good launch down to Turn 1," said Hamilton. "Then when I was braking, I had a tap from the rear and went straight on.
"I had the puncture, which damaged the rear floor and it made it like driving on ice out there. The car wasn't working correctly with that damage, so it was like driving on ice. I was pushing and pushing, but it was a waste of time. I suggested that we [retire] save the gearbox for hopefully a better race in the future, but we used it up [instead.]"
Hamilton was nonetheless praiseworthy of the improvements the McLaren team have made to the MP4-24 since the British Grand Prix, which enabled him to qualify fifth on the grid.
"For sure the team has done a fantastic job," he added. We've finally been competitive, in qualifying at least, and I can look forward to the next race. It's just a shame I wasn't able to experience the new updates in the race, because of the damage."