Sebastian Vettel was left lamenting his lost chance in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after retiring for the first time in the 2011 season.
The Red Bull driver, starting from pole position, made a good start to keep his lead but spun off at Turn 2 following a puncture to his right-rear tire. Vettel drove back to the pits but his car was too damaged to continue and was forced to retire for the first time in 19 races.
The German ace believes he would have had a good chance at fighting for another victory.
"At the exit of the first corner everything seemed fine but as soon as I started to turn in for the second corner I felt something was wrong with the rear right and I had to catch the car surprisingly," said Vettel. "And the second time I had to catch it, I couldn't do it anymore. I had a puncture and I spun off. On the way back I damaged the suspension so badly I couldn't carry on."
He added: "Up to that point we had a very good start. I was very happy with the car. It's hard to say how quick we could have been. Mark [Webber] had a difficult race. His pace was good, so I think his car was in good shape.
"On other hand I think Lewis [Hamilton] and Fernando [Alonso] had strong pace. I think we would have had a chance, but it's difficult to stand here and tell you what it could have been. In the end it didn't happen because we didn't make it much longer than one lap."
He was also adamant that Red Bull needs to get to the bottom of what caused the puncture.
"It looks like at the exit we suddenly lost tire pressure. The tire was flat by the time I went into Turn 2. I don't really know why. It's nothing I did different to any other lap or any other driver, so we need to really understand what caused the puncture."