Monte Carlo, Principality of Monaco - Jenson Button blamed poor visibility for the ignominious accident on Sunday that ended his romantic one-off return to Formula One at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The 37-year-old Englishman, replacing two-time champion Fernando Alonso, crashed his McLaren Honda into Pascal Wehrlein's Sauber as he tried to pass inside him at Portier, tipping the German's car on its side against the barriers.
Wehrlein was shaken and angry, but unhurt and climbed unaided from his car.
"He was nowhere and clearly this corner is no place to overtake," said Wehrlein. "It was a silly move."
Button, in his 306th Grand Prix as deputy for Alonso who was due to race in the Indianapolis 500 later Sunday, said he felt the move was possible.
"Obviously, I thought it was on," he said. "I got alongside him, then I looked across and was like, 'he hasn't seen me at all'.
"These cars are so difficult to see out the back of... I've been telling the team, and the FIA, that this weekend. I tried to back out of it, but it was too late and we touched."
Wehrlein's helmet made contact with the barriers.
He missed the opening two races this year and said he will have a scan next week to make sure he is fine.