Alex Albon believes Williams opened the door for "championship rivals" to reel it in over the fight for seventh in the Constructors' following his first lap DNF in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
At the start, Albon made contact with the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg, which tipped him into the sister VF-23 of Kevin Magnussen with the two then hitting the barriers hard.
The red flags were deployed for debris and car removal, with Williams' main rivals AlphaTauri going onto score two points in the race through Yuki Tsunoda to reduce the gap to just seven points following a significant upturn in performance.
Williams currently has 28 points, to AlphaTauri's 21, but Albon believes a chance was opened for the Faenza-based team to capitalise after the crash.
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Albon rues first lap DNF
"The last three races, so Mexico, the Sprint and [Brazil], we've been number one [on the grid] for starts," Albon told media including RacingNews365.
"We had three very good starts in a row, and sometimes it works for you like in Mexico, and sometimes it works against you like it did [here].
"It is so frustrating, but I don't think I could have done any different, I was as far to the right as I could be, but the Haas [of Nico Hulkenberg] went across a little bit and squeezed the middle Haas of [Magnussen], and that was it really.
"It is just unfortunate because races like this are what you want, a Ferrari [of Charles Leclerc] is out, Daniel [Ricciardo] is a lap down, [Oscar] Piastri is a lap down, and now there is a chance to score points.
"These are the races we do well at, we scrap at, and it is open for one of our championship rivals to take."
AlphaTauri is Williams' nearest challenger, with Yuki Tsunoda going onto bank two points for a ninth-place finish, coupled with the three he scored in the Sprint for a five-point haul.
It moved the team onto 21 points, seven behind Williams with just two rounds remaining in the season.
As for Magnussen, he detailed that he "had a good feeling with the car on the Soft tyre on the laps to the grid" and told the team that the race "might be a bit good" as he had a "positive feeling", but that the DNF was "typical and frustrating."