Néstor Girolami said he was ‘really disappointed’ in Jean-Karl Vernay after his weekend-ending accident in race two of the FIA World Touring Car Cup in Slovakia.
Girolami and Vernay made contact on the final lap of race two at the Slovakiaring as the duo were scrapping for fourth place.
Girolami had earlier been on the radio to his Münnich Motorsport team to ask about team orders, after he felt held up by fellow Argentine Esteban Guerrieri.
Exiting the first corner, Vernay got a better run than the Honda driver and sought to pass, but Girolami moved over on the exit and the resulting contact pitched the Argentine into the armco heavily.
The resulting impact was so big that his Civic Type-R was thrown into the air, completing a full 360 degrees before landing back on the circuit without two of its left-hand side wheels.
The incident was deemed by the stewards to be a racing incident, although Vernay was later handed a ten-second penalty for a separate incident.
“Concerning the incident in race two, I feel really disappointed with JK,” explained Girolami.
“I was hit by him at the start, which made me lose three positions. I can understand this because it was the first lap, but I thought he would take more care afterwards and not put me in a bad situation.”
Girolami had to be taken to hospital for precautionary checks following the huge accident.
“First of all, I am OK, which is the most important thing in any incident like this.
“It was a really big impact and obviously the car was heavily damaged, so the fact that I was able to return to the circuit this evening is testament to the safety level JAS Motorsport has achieved with the Honda Civic Type R TCR and also the preparation from ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, so big thanks to them both.
“It puts us on the back foot as we have very little time to prepare for the next round, but we will come back fighting.”
Vernay defended himself after the crash, with the Team Mulsanne driver saying that Girolami moved over on him after the corner.
“The race was really intense. I hope that Girolami is OK, it was quite a hard hit for him, but I just tried to do my best.
“I tried to cross him and I was next to him when he, again, turned into me. That’s part of the race; I’m a super fair driver and I never had any big issues with others but if he wants to be aggressive I have to defend myself – I have a job to do.”
Münnich Motorsport has already confirmed that it is preparing a new car for Girolami ahead of this weekend’s races at the Hungaroring.