Max Verstappen exonerated Nico Hulkenberg from blame following their incident at the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver made contact with the Force India after Turn 1, the Dutchman hitting his rival's sidepod on corner exit.
As a result of the contact, Verstappen spun and dropped down to the bottom of the field as a result.
"He couldn't really see me. I tried everything to avoid him, but it didn't work. I don't blame him," said Verstappen after the race.
"Definitely Nico [Hulkenberg] had a very good start, I don't think he expected me to be still half [along] side. He just made the corner, for me there was nowhere to go. I think it was a racing incident.
"From then on I fought my way back and I actually enjoyed it very much. It was a great race. The pace was very good."
Verstappen recovered to finish in fourth position thanks to using a one-stop strategy, unlike all of his rivals, who stopped twice.
The Dutch driver said the strategy had not been planned, and admitted he was unsure about it even before pitting.
"I was not convinced but if you feel the tyres are just holding on pretty well, so I said to the team 'guys, don't box me, I want to go as long as I can', and that means you are trying to do one stop," he said.
Additional reporting by Erwin Jaeggi