McLaren's Lewis Hamilton described the final laps of the British Grand Prix as "crazy'" as he fended off Ferrari's Felipe Massa to finish fourth.
The British driver was forced to save fuel in the closing stages of the race, allowing Massa to close on him.
Hamilton said: "That was as close as it's going to get. It was crazy.
"I did the best job I could and I'm really so grateful that when I came across the line, the support I had was as if I had won. Thanks to everyone."
Hamilton, who began the race from 10th on the grid, made a strong start and found himself fighting with Massa for fourth by the end of lap three.
The McLaren driver then rose as high as second before dropping down to third as a result of pit stops.
The team told him to ease off on lap 44 as there were concerns over his remaining fuel.
He was only given the all clear to push on the last lap, but by then Massa had caught him.
The two men touched as they went through the final corner, with Hamilton breaking part of his front wing.
But the former world champion was not to be denied and held on to beat the Brazilian by 0.024secs.
"I had a good start and made some places up but unfortunately towards the end I had to save fuel," added Hamilton.
"I had to give Mark Webber [third] position and then on the last lap, they [the team] said 'now you can push' and I was like 'thanks, after I've let him [Massa] catch me up' - but I was not giving him that position.
"I was struggling massively. I was having to fuel save, which means I was having to lift and coast. That meant my brake temperatures had dropped.
"I had no brakes pretty much - that's why I kept locking up. My left front was just cold.
"I knew braking into there, I was going to struggle so I tried to keep myself on the inside. He braked massively late on the outside.
"I was stopping as fast as I could but he kept closing the door and then we came together. I went over the edge of the kerb and got the exit.
Asked whether he thought he may have to visit the stewards following the incident, Hamilton joked: "I've got a platinum card for the stewards so I expect to be there.
"I'm actually going to go straight to the stewards and just sit there and wait rather than go back and come back."
Meanwhile, Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button was left rueing another missed opportunity after a pit-stop mistake cost him the chance of finishing on the podium for the first time at the British Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver, who had been fifth, was forced to stop after his right front wheel worked loose as he drove down the pit straight.
It later emerged that the mechanic who changed the tyre lost the wheelnut and in picking up the spare wheel gun, triggered the front-jack man into lowering the car, which in turn led to the lollipop man allowing Button to leave.
"It is very disappointing. In front of my home crowd, I was enjoying the race, my pace was good," said the former World Champion.
"I caught up with Lewis, Sebastian [Vettel] and Mark [Webber]. It was looking sweet, I would have come out alongside Mark after my pit stop.
"Anyone who had pace near the end had a chance of a podium and I definitely had pace.
"We all make mistakes and you always hope they never happen.
"This seems to be the way of it at British Grands Prix for me, but I'll try again next year."