Button, starting 10th on the grid but on a tyre strategy that he hoped would bring him into play higher up the field later in the race, was the innocent party in the tangle on the exit of turn four that forced the Briton into the pits with a puncture.
Button eventually made it to the finish in 14th place, a lap down on race and title winner Sebastian Vettel, while fifth place for team-mate Sergio Perez offered an unwelcome glimpse of what might have been.
"Today was just one of those days," said Button. "Exiting turn four I got hit quite hard on the right-hand side by Fernando. I don't quite know why he couldn't make to the apex, as I'd given him loads of room, but he hit me in the side pretty hard.
"The contact damaged the car and damaged the wheel rim, which also gave me a puncture, although it didn't cause me an issue until about three laps later.
"It was an extra shame that I was running on the medium tyre when I had the puncture, as that was the one you wanted to run long around here. So that incident destroyed my strategy for the rest of the afternoon.
"Without that contact, and the resultant puncture, I think we could have had some fun out there. It's just a shame, because our car was quick around here - Checo showed just what was possible by driving an extremely good race."
Perez's charge to fifth - made possible by a superb overtake on both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton late in the race - came at just the right time for the Mexican, with McLaren still to be convinced he is deserving of a seat for next season.
"Fifth place is a great result for me," he said. "Without question I have a lot of pressure on my shoulders, but it's always sweeter when you perform well while under pressure. I'm extremely satisfied.
"In the closing laps, it was a fantastic feeling to get past Kimi and Lewis in a single move. I just braked as late as I could for turn four to try and keep Lewis behind - and I managed to do it.
"It's been a tough season, but today's result is a promising sign."