Citroen team principal Yves Matton has dismissed Honda's protest over the French team's qualifying tactics for the WTCC round at Vila Real, describing it as a "waste of time".
Honda filed a protest, which was thrown out by the stewards, believing that Yvan Muller and Ma Qing Hua acted in an unsporting manner by deliberately setting slow lap times in order to secure the front row for the reverse grid second race at the Portuguese street track.
Matton said that the strategy employed by Citroen to get Muller and Ma on the front row was clearly within the regulations, and that Honda had "better things to do" than protest.
“Yesterday night was a waste of time,” said Matton on Sunday. “I think Honda had better things to do last night and work on race strategy, that’s my point of view.
“It was better to focus on qualifying and what they wanted to achieve and maybe put some cars at the front and cars at the back [of Q2], rather than wondering why after the qualifying that other teams did a better job.”
Asked if he felt Ma’s lap of 3m17s around a circuit where pole was set at 1m58.515s could be considered unsporting, Matton responded: “If it was unfair following the regulations, than the decision wouldn’t be what it is.
"Ma was last on the track; he could trouble nobody. For sure, if he was doing the lap in three minutes and was disturbing a car behind him that was doing a time, that would be different, but he was last on the track, so I don’t see where there is a problem.”
Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes