Kimi Raikkonen says he knew where he was going when he tried to drive through a escape road after going off during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Finn went off-track on lap 52 and tried to rejoin by using an access road.
A gate in front of him was closed, however, and the Lotus driver had to turn around and drive through the grass in order to find the circuit again.
"I went off at the last corner on lap 52 as I couldn't see well with my visor being dirty and fogged up," said Raikkonen, who finished in 10th position to become the only driver to have finished all races in 2012.
"Where I went off you can get back on the track by going through the support race pitlane, but you have to go through a gate.
"I know this as I did the same thing in 2001 and the gate was open that year. Somebody closed it this time.
"Next year I'll make sure it's open again..."
Team-mate Romain Grosjean crashed out of the race after losing control of his car on lap six.
The Frenchman had a 9.5g impact but was uninjured.
"I'm a little bit shaken but otherwise not too bad," he said.
"Everything was nicely under control at the start of the race then it all ended very suddenly at Turn 11.
"It was a strange one; I could see it was raining a bit more so I was taking it even easier than on the lap before, then suddenly the car just went from underneath me and that was it.
"I've not had much luck this weekend and that's definitely not the way I wanted to end the season, but overall it's been a good year and hopefully there will be many better days to come."