Fernando Alonso moved to clarify a comment he made during the Korean Grand Prix, in which he told his Ferrari team: "I give up, I give up."
The remark came as the Spaniard chased McLaren's Jenson Button for fourth place in the closing laps.
After the race, Alonso said he was stating a fact, not giving up.
"I had a little moment close to the wall," said Alonso. "I asked the team how many laps left and they said 'two' and I said: "With two, I cannot do it."
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel sealed his 10th victory of the season in Korea, comfortably ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, McLaren's Jenson Button and Alonso, who finished in line astern.
The Spaniard, 30, had spent half of the race behind his team-mate Felipe Massa, who had out-qualified him for the third time in five races, and also lost time behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.
However, Alonso, who eventually passed his team-mate during the second round of stops, insisted Massa did not hold him up.
"I was not much quicker at that time," added Alonso. "I struggled a lot in the first part of the race with the super soft tyres so I tried to manage the degradation.
"After the stops, I found myself between [Vitaly] Petrov and Michael [Schumacher] and really close to their accident in Turn Three.
"Then behind Nico we also lost a bit of time, but I was not much quicker at that time of the race."
Once clear of Massa, Alonso closed in rapidly on Hamilton, Webber and Button, at more than half a second a lap, but he ran out of time to challenge for a podium position.
"When we switched to the softs, the situation improved significantly and, with a clear track, I was able to push as hard as I could," Alonso said.
"I did 20 qualifying laps to catch the group [of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull's Mark Webber and Button] in front, but we arrived a little bit too late to the battle.
"I was only quick in the last stint so we will try to see why."
When asked whether he thought Ferrari could catch Red Bull in the remaining three races in India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil, Alonso said: "No I don't think so. Everything will remain more or less the same unfortunately.
"Especially on Saturday, they seem very strong and we are eight or nine tenths behind them.
"We deliver a better performance on Sunday and we need to keep that up."
Though the Spaniard failed to repeat his victory at the Korean venue last year, Alonso insisted the team are still motivated for the rest of the season while also looking ahead to next year.
"If we have some podium finishes in the remaining races, they will be welcome," said Alonso. "If by surprise we can win one race, it'll be even better.
"Furthermore, we will continue to work towards next year, trying new things and maybe, taking a few risks with our strategy."