European Formula 3 racer Ameya Vaidyanathan says he is devastated about his heavy startline accident last weekend at the Norisring in which he ploughed into Dan Ticktum.
The Carlin-run Indian, who had qualified on the 11th row of the grid, smashed into the rear of Red Bull junior Ticktum’s Motopark car, which had stalled from its third-row start.
Other drivers had moved to avoid Ticktum, but Vaidyanathan had a clear road ahead for some distance before he hit the stalled machine.
He told the stewards that he was focused more on the car to his left – the Hitech racer of Ben Hingeley – which was trying to overtake him.
As well as disqualifying Vaidyanathan from the race, and banning him from the final race of the weekend, the stewards requested that ‘the FIA consider whether [he] meets the standard of ability and awareness required to compete in this championship’.
Vaidyanathan told Motorsport.com: “The most important thing following the incident is that everyone is OK.
“Having held a completely clean licence in the last two seasons I am obviously devastated at the consequences of my mistake, which took place in the high-stress environment of a race start.
“I’ve apologised to Dan for ruining his race and was happy to see both he and his team recover to take the win in race three.”
Ticktum’s thrilling third-race victory over teammate Juri Vips came after a miracle rebuild from the Motopark squad.
“I still have a bit of a headache, but my neck and everything else were pretty much OK after one hour,” said Ticktum after his win.
“For the repair, luckily we had enough hands at Motopark – we have six cars at the team, so we have a decent number of people.
“But the fact that the car was raceworthy is incredible – I have to say a massive thanks to the team, and even Timo [Rumpfkeil, team boss] was on the floor getting his hands dirty.”
Ticktum sits one point behind championship leader Marcus Armstrong, and predicted that “he [Armstrong] won’t stay there for long.”
“I don’t think any of my weekends [this season] have been the smoothest,” he said.
“Qualifying has always been really good so the pace is there. The stall today was my fault, and there have been a couple of mistakes on my side, but also luck hasn’t gone my way.”