Sergio Perez admits a risky move led to his poor run of form continuing with a 15th place in Abu Dhabi.
The Sauber driver, 22, has not managed a point since he was announced as Lewis Hamilton's replacement at McLaren.
Perez was involved in an incident with Mark Webber, Paul di Resta and Romain Grosjean that led to the safety car coming out.
"I had to risk a lot to get by but then unfortunately collided with the Lotus and my race was over," he said.
"It is a real shame because our race pace was very good.
"We were looking really good and I had the feeling even a podium would have been possible."
The collision finished the race of Red Bull's Webber, who started second on the grid, and Romain Grosjean in the Lotus.
Webber said: "Nothing really worked out for us. I think we were strong, but we never got free air and it's difficult here with traffic; we saw quite a few incidents where people were trying to pass."
Force India driver Paul Di Resta, who went on to finish ninth, accused Perez of recklessness.
The Scot, 26, believes he could have picked up more than his two points in Abu Dhabi.
"I don't know what he was trying to do," Di Resta said.
"He was trying to make a mad move around the outside and I had to bail out. I'll take a couple of points after a couple of difficult races but it could have been more."
Lotus's Grosjean, 26, insisted he did nothing wrong in the crash and said: "Sergio went off track at Turn 13 and came back on the inside at Turn 14 leaving me with no room to go anywhere else.
"Mark came from behind and we touched; it was a big shame. It was a great day for the team, but an unlucky one for me."
Frenchman Grosjean also made contact with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg on the opening lap.
It was the eighth time this season Grosjean has been involved in a collision at the beginning of a race.
But he added: "There was contact with Niko. I kept my line and did a safe start but there was no room for me to go."
Williams driver Pastor Maldonado secured his best finish since winning the Spanish Grand Prix in May by coming fifth.
"We missed the opportunity to finish on the podium after we lost the use of Kers following the first safety car period," the Venezuelan said.
"For sure there was more in the car. The pace was good and at the beginning I was closing the gap to Kimi Raikkonen but we still collected some good points and it was a great race."
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was involved in a spectacular collision with HRT's Narain Karthikeyan.
Rosberg said: "Narain told me that his steering broke and he needed to brake which I didn't expect in that high-speed corner.
"There was no time for me to react, and I'm very thankful that we are both fine."
Mercedes' Michael Schumacher felt only a late puncture denied him some points.
The German, 43, who only has two races remaining before his retirement, finished in 11th place in Abu Dhabi.
He said: "Due to the puncture I had to do another pit stop very late in the race which lost me a points scoring position.
"Of course this is part of the game and you cannot do anything about it but it was a real pity as we had reasonable pace and could have taken some points."