Michael Schumacher has put his Interlagos accident with Bruno Senna down to a "lack of experience" on the Renault rookie's part.
Starting 10th on the grid, Schumacher immediately lost a position to Force India's Paul di Resta. The German, though, fought back to retake it and then launched an attack on Senna for ninth. It ended in disappointment.
Schumacher attempted to dive down the outside of the Brazilian, who was not willing to yield even the slightest.
The two touched with the Mercedes GP driver suffering a left rear puncture and Senna damaging to his front wing. He was also handed a drive-through penalty.
Schumacher was forced to pit and fell well down the order to 19th place. From there it was a case of trying to salvage something but it wasn't to be as he finished P15, a lap down.
"It was a bit of a shame today with the incident with Bruno, which was caused perhaps due to some lack of experience, but then those things happen," Schumacher said.
"Otherwise I think we could have had a nice race with some solid points. After the collision, all I could do was try to fight as much as possible, and hope for rain which did not come.
"In the first stint after the incident, my car was not well-balanced with a lot of oversteer. Unfortunately we could not change this at the pit stop which handicapped the balance in the second stint, whereas in the last stint the balance was good."
The German is now looking ahead to the 2012 Championship, his third - and perhaps final - season with Mercedes GP, confident that he help get his team to the front of the pack.
"We very much look forward to next season now," he said.
"With all the effort that is being put into the development of the car, I am confident we can make another step forward to where Mercedes belongs; fighting at the top."
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