Nico Rosberg admitted he was "very surprised" to have been penalised at the German Grand Prix on a day which went "completely wrong," for the home driver.
Rosberg started from pole position but tumbled to fourth off the line and was later judged to have forced Max Verstappen off-track when the pair battled into the hairpin.
Rosberg was forced to take a five-second time penalty at his second stop but a stopwatch error by Mercedes meant he was static for eight seconds before he was serviced for fresh tyres.
Rosberg was left down in fourth place as Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton secured victory.
"I thought it was a good battle," said Rosberg. "I was very surprised that I got penalised, I didn't expect that, at all.
""It's just one more of those things, you know, when the day goes completely wrong.
"It's all the things that come together, but I don't think it made a difference in the end, but I couldn't have challenged the Red Bulls anyway, after that penalty.
"Without the penalty I was in front of them, up to the pit-stop, I was running second, so it's the penalty that cost me dearly, definitely, but they were running at a good pace."
Rosberg also played down his deficit of 19 points in the championship to team-mate Hamilton.
"19 points is not tough at all, tough is losing the race in the way I did," he said. "That's very, very tough, and that's going to take some time to digest."