Kevin Ceccon was unhappy to miss out on a second win in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in Japan, after an error lining up in his grid box caused him to pick up a five-second penalty in the final race at Suzuka.
The Team Mulsanne driver had blitzed the opposition in Friday’s main qualifying session, going seven tenths clear of the next best driver.
But in the main race on Sunday the Alfa Romeo driver was out of position in his grid box, causing him to pick up a time penalty before the race had finished.
Although Ceccon passed fellow Italian Gabriele Tarquini for the lead on lap seven, he was unable to pull out enough of an advantage before the chequered flag and was ultimately classified in third, behind Tarquini and Aurélien Comte.
“I didn’t realise I was not in my starting grid position,” admitted Ceccon. “Also, I did a very bad start so after Turn 1 I was very far behind.
“Then I overtook again Aurélien in Spoon, then I took [Yann] Ehrlacher as well, then I caught Gabriele but had the five-second penalty.
“He is a gentleman, so he let me by because there was no race between him and me.”
Ceccon admitted his disappointment with the penalty after the race, even though his results from the weekend have hauled him up to 14th overall in the drivers’ standings – having only joined the series after the half-way stage of the season in Slovakia.
“I passed Gabriele and it was then like qualifying practice for me, for six or seven laps in a row like there was no tomorrow, not for myself but for the team because we were really quick this weekend.
“And at least I would catch another podium for them.
“Gabriele was not pushing because it was an easy race for him after that point.
“At least I finished in third, but of course I am not happy because it was my mistake and I am sorry for the team, but it can happen.
“We will see what will happen in Macau. Anyway, two podiums, one victory and one pole position in Suzuka is not too bad I think.”