Sergio Perez says his "hands were tied" during the Mexican Grand Prix after his strategy put him behind the Williams drivers all race long.
The Force India driver opted for a one-stop strategy for his home race, but it meant he was stuck behind Valtteri Bottas in the opening stint.
After he stopped on lap 20, the Mexican spent several laps attempting to pass Felipe Massa.
In both cases, the superior top speed of the Williams made it impossible for Perez to pass his rivals.
"My hands were tied, I couldn't do anything in this race," said Perez, who finished the race in 10th behind Massa.
"We knew that if there was a car we didn't want to fight against that was the Williams, because they have the top speed on the straight.
"They are around 10 to 15km/h faster than us. In the first stint I was behind Valtteri and in the second behind Massa and I couldn't overtaken them all race.
"In the end the strategy failed us. I had had a great first part of the race and we couldn't maximise the result.
"But having stopped so late and with the medium without much life in it the race was all in traffic. I couldn't do anything to get a better result."
Perez admitted his race had already been compromised by a disappointing qualifying showing, the Force India driver starting in 12th, seven places behind teammate Nico Hulkenberg.
"In the end, because of the strategy we chose to stop so late we ended up behind the Williams," he added.
"I failed yesterday and that compromised our race a lot, but I gave absolutely everything."
Additional reporting by Luis Ramirez