Mark Webber admitted he was sure Jean-Eric Vergne was letting him through when they tangled on lap 16 of the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Red Bull came up behind the Toro Rosso at Turn 6 as Webber tried to recover from his qualifying penalty.
The Australian made a late move down the inside and made contact with Vergne, spinning the Toro Rosso and breaking his own front wing.
"I was regrouping and coming through the field and got to Jean-Eric," said Webber.
"I was coming from a reasonable distance back but he knew I was there.
"He was really, really wide and looking like he opened the corner and was giving me the line.
"But we got to the apex and he took it.
"It's disappointing. He was entitled to do that, but if he'd just gone around the outside we would've both survived."
Webber does not think the incident would have ruined his race, but he retired soon afterwards when his car shed a wheel following his subsequent pitstop.
"[The collision] wasn't the end of the world as we were only a couple of laps off stopping for tyres anyway," said Webber.
"The guys thought the wheel was done, but it came off on the out-lap."