Edoardo Mortara believes his hopes of victory in the Macau Grand Prix were wrecked by a brush with the wall after the final safety car restart.
The Italian had recovered from an early slip down the order to emerge as race leader Keisuke Kunimoto's main threat for victory - but he could do little after swiping the wall in the hill section.
That brush bent Mortara's right front suspension and, although able to continue and chip away at Kunimoto's lead, the damage scuppered his chances of a full-scale assault on victory.
"The key moment of the race was when I hit the wall at the restart," said Mortara. "Like on Saturday I had some problems with warming the tyres.
"I don't know why, but the gap was growing on the first lap after the restart and I was trying to keep the gap quite close. I knew I was faster, but he could make the gap on that first lap.
"After hitting the wall I was not able to close the gap and my car was completely broken. But I was really taking all the risks because I really wanted this victory. I was pushing like crazy in the mountains.
"Every time at the last corner I was quite close, but then I noticed his car going away on the straight and I was pretty sad because I could not do anything. It was impossible, as I was pushing to close the gap in the mountains and, from the first corner to Lisboa, he was just pulling away. I just tried all I could and I did my best.
"But I still want to thank my team and Volkswagen. They did an incredible job. We cannot forget it is their first participation here for a long time, so thank you to them because they deserved this result."
Although Mortara's stunning pace in practice, first qualifying and the qualification race earned him plaudits from observers, the Italian said he took little consolation from what he showed this weekend.
"I am not happy with it, because we didn't win," he said.