Citroen’s Jose Maria Lopez says he doesn’t feel guilty “even one percent” for the incident in the second WTCC race at Paul Ricard with Honda’s Tiago Monteiro.
The contact during the duo's battle for second resulted in Monteiro being eliminated from the race, while Lopez went on to take his fifth win of the season to extend his championship lead over teammate Yvan Muller to 39 points.
The stewards deemed the contact a racing incident and decided no further action was warranted, stating that they "do not believe either driver was wholly or predominantly to blame for the action."
Lopez, who battled his way up from ninth on the grid to take the win, recalled: “I tried on the outside with Tiago and he just came over on to me while I was there and I just couldn’t do anything.
“It was a shame for him, he’s a friend, but I can’t do anything. I don’t feel guilty even one percent for the manoeuvre.
Monteiro meanwhile believed Lopez was fully at fault for the incident, saying: “I was very surprised when he put me out.
“I know Pechito [Lopez], we trust each other, and when I'm fighting with him I never expect something bad.
"He's not sorry about it, he doesn't believe he could have done anything about it - that's what annoys me about it, not that he did it on purpose, but that he could have avoided it.
“He was already on the outside of the track so why not go 10cm more to avoid a contact? I know it was not intentional, but it hurt me.
"I don't care if he gets a penalty or not, as it makes no difference to me, it just ****ed my race and I lost a lot of points in the championship.”
Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes