Nico Rosberg says that Mercedes has determined that a strong gust of wind triggered his off-track incident in the closing stages of the US GP.
Rosberg lost the lead and any chance of keeping the title battle open until Mexico after going off 10 laps from the finish.
"It was gust of wind, a big one," Rosberg said on Thursday. "I'm serious! But everybody has it, and so you can't really use it as an excuse, It's still a mistake, but I understand my mistake now, and that's important, for me to understand it.
"It was a very unusual scenario which happened only once in all those laps. I understand the mistake and that helps me a lot moving forward. I lost a lot of rear downforce as a result."
Asked if he hoped the team might not focus on getting him second place, he said: "I don't think it's going to be such a clear change, it's still going to be fighting for the win out there, OK, the constructors' is done, the drivers' is done.
"I want to win, I'm sure Lewis wants to win, Vettel wants to win, so I think it's going to be a battle pretty much as usual, I don't think it's going to change much."
Meanwhile, the German did not want to talk about how he would adjust his approach after the first corner incident with Lewis Hamilton, or the team's plan to get the two of them together.
"Sorry, I'm not going to go into details about what my approach is going to be or if I'm going to think about my approach or not. It's not the place to do that.
"The discussion still remains to take place, it's not happened yet. I don't want to say every single detail, so let's see."
Asked I he needed to get the gloves off he repeated: "Sorry I'm not going into those details. I'll leave it up to you to make your opinion."