Esteban Gutierrez says his Haas chassis was damaged by the recovery crane and not by his accident with Fernando Alonso during the Australian Grand Prix.
Alonso crashed into the back of Gutierrez's car early in the race, putting both of them out of the event.
Haas revealed earlier this week that Gutierrez will use a new chassis for this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, after his original one was cracked in Melbourne.
"There was a bit of damage at the rear, the floor. I think the chassis broke in the crane," said Gutierrez.
"It was not broken, it was just cracked."
Team boss Gunther Steiner said the damage to the car was less than initially thought, and that the Melbourne chassis will be ready to be used as a spare in Bahrain.
"[The damage to the chassis] was not as bad as I thought it would be," Steiner said. "It was damaged but it was not this bad.
"It's all fixed now, the car has started up already, so it will be ready for tomorrow.
"We ran this chassis already at the test, this is our spare chassis which we now have in service. The one that was damaged in Melbourne came back yesterday, because we had to send it back to England to fix and then it came back here."
While teammate Romain Grosjean wound up a sensational sixth on the American team's debut, Gutierrez reckons that without his accident, he could have also finished in the points in Australia.
"I think that points were possible," he added. "It's very difficult to say and judge in this moment but the pace was there the pace of the car was good.
"Now it will be interesting to see our pace in this type of track in Bahrain and China, which is obviously very different to Melbourne.
"I think we will discover a more consistent feeling about where we stand in terms of competitiveness."
Additional reporting by Oleg Karpov