The reigning world champion, who is without a win this season, suffered a loss of drive in his Red Bull early in the race before damaging the car in a collision with Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez.
The German told Sky Sports News: "We stopped because we wanted to save some mileage. We were hoping for a safety car but it wasn't coming. Obviously, it has been a bad first half of the season with a few retirements and other problems, but I guess it's part of the game.
"Equally we were able to learn a lot today and it's good that Daniel [Ricciardo] got some points for us. It would be bad to say I got used to it, but obviously we have had a lot of problems so far already and I got calmer when the problem occurred.
"Our pace looked alright and we were able to go quite far on the soft tyre, but we were a lap down so in the end we decided to save some mileage."