Marussia reckons Timo Glock would have had a shot at beating Caterham in the Belgian Grand Prix had he not been hit by Pastor Maldonado at the safety car restart.
Williams driver Maldonado was given a five-place grid penalty for the Italian GP as a punishment for the clash with Glock, which ended Maldonado's race and put the German to the tail of the field.
Glock recovered to finish 15th, half a minute behind Caterham's Vitaly Petrov, but he was adamant that the gap would have been smaller but for the incident with Maldonado.
"We knew we could be stronger in the race and we were; we could have been stronger still but for the problem with Maldonado which lost me time earlier in the race and created a bigger gap to Petrov at the end than might otherwise have been the case," said Glock.
Team boss John Booth also rued the clash with the Williams.
"The incident between Maldonado and Timo left him right at the back of the field behind the HRTs, which was less than ideal in terms of our objective of taking the fight to Caterham after the safety car restart," Booth said.
"We opted to switch Timo to a two-stop strategy to allow him the free air he needed to achieve our pace potential in the middle stint in order to close the gap. This worked well and Timo did a great job to respond to the switch."
He added: "Despite his pace, the gap created as a consequence of earlier incidents meant there was no hope of him catching up to Petrov."
Although frustrated with the collision, Booth was very satisfied with Marussia's pace at Spa.The team had introduced a major upgrade package for this weekend's race.
"For large portions of the race, the substantial upgrade we introduced here allowed our drivers to match the pace of our immediate competitors, so we can be pleased overall that the margins are reducing and also we only saw a few blue flags and quite late on in the race," said Booth.
"These incremental upgrades will bring the additional pace that will significantly aid our ability to race on the lead lap and minimize our blue flag time loss towards the end of the race."