Sergio Perez described his Indian Grand Prix as "a total disappointment" after retiring from the Buddh event just 20 laps into the race. The Sauber driver retired the damage after he had to complete a full lap with a punctured tire after contact with a Toro Rosso.
"First of all I had to pit after 14 laps because the front-left tire was blistering badly. We don't know yet why this happened.
"I wanted to recover the lost positions but touched Daniel Ricciardo's front wing when I overtook him. The rear-right tire came off the rim and damaged something at the rear of the car. So my race was over after 20 laps."
Teammate Kamui Kobayashi also endured a difficult day after being stuck in traffic for most of the race. The Japanese driver, who made contact with the Williams of Pastor Maldonado, finished down in 14th.
"I have to say it wasn't our weekend here," he said. "In the race I was never alone, I always had someone in front of me but not enough straight line pace to overtake. This was frustrating. I was stuck behind Daniel Ricciardo and there was nothing I could do.
"The issue with Pastor Maldonado was a bit strange. He had overtaken me but then he suddenly came on my racing line again. I could not avoid having contact. I think we should make sure we have a smooth weekend in Abu Dhabi and forget about this one here."
The result left Sauber still 20 points behind Mercedes in the standings with three races to go, and team boss Monisha Kaltenborn accepted it would be harder to beat the German squad now.
"A disappointing race," she said. "Kamui fought hard but his grid position was too much of a handicap. Sergio made a good start but then had unexpected problems with his front-left tire.
"After an early pit stop he had a puncture and was forced to stop because the car felt strange. Our goal to fight for fifth position in the constructors' championship will now be more difficult to achieve."