Williams Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa says his hopes of recovering from a pitlane start were ruined when Pastor Maldonado hit him in the early stages of the Bahrain GP.
A sensor issue prevented the Brazilian, who had qualified sixth, from firing up the car and pulling away for the formation lap.
The team managed to resolve the issue in time so that Massa could start the race from the pitlane and he made good progress through the field in the opening few laps.
But after the Brazilian passed Maldonado, the Lotus driver hit the back of the Massa's car, causing what Williams performance chief Rob Smedley described as "quite extensive" damage to the diffuser.
"I had a very good three or four laps, I was passing cars and then I was in front of Maldonado," said Massa.
"I don't know what he did to be honest but he lost his braking point in corner four, lap four, and he hit my diffuser.
"It broke a good part of my diffuser and from that lap until the end of the race I had no rear stability on my rear.
"I was using the tyres so quickly. I had no stability on the rear so degradation was massive."
Smedley added: "We can see it switched the balance almost immediately.
"From one lap to the next the balance switched from being quite an understeery car to being quite an oversteery car.
"That pretty much put to bed anything he was going to do."
Massa finished 10th, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas fourth, but the Brazilian said seventh place was possible without the damage.
"It was a race to finish in the good points, even with the problem I had at the start, but it didn't help what happened after," said Massa.
"Without the Maldonado incident, I think top seven was possible.
"I don't know if it was possible to be in front of [Daniel] Ricciardo [in sixth] or not, but in the best condition top six."