Norbert Michelisz found the contact with Néstor Girolami at the start of the second FIA World Touring Car Cup in Hungary ‘difficult to understand’ after it sent him spinning to the back of the field.
Having finished race one in a solid sixth place, Michelisz had been hoping for a strong race two result in front of his home fans at the Hungaroring, having started from third on the grid, which was effectively second with pole-sitter Rob Huff not lining up.
Approaching the first corner, Michelisz was alongside Honda’s Girolami, who moved over on the Hungarian and in turn pushed him across the front of the Lynk & Co of Thed Björk.
The resulting contact with Björk saw Michelisz spin to the back of the pack, and he was only able to recover to 14th by the time the chequered flag flew.
“There was a touch – I think Néstor decided that he wants to take the outside, but I was already there,” explained Michelisz. “It was a very unfortunate touch which destroyed my race, so I’m very disappointed with that.
“It was a bit difficult to understand from the inside. Sometimes these kind of things can happen. But it was the second time this season with him, in Estoril and now.
“Unfortunately, I have to live with it. It was a shame because it’s a lot of points and it’s a shame because we deserved more.”
After the race Girolami was handed a five-second time penalty, dropping him from second to fifth, and Michelisz admitted to being a bit ‘ashamed’ of that.
“To be honest it’s very strange now to say anything; I know I don’t have to, but I feel a bit ashamed, and sorry for them and for myself as well.
“In the end it’s part of the game. I need to sleep for one or two nights and then probably it will feel better.
“The atmosphere was really nice all weekend with a lot of people in the grandstands, but I wished I could have brought home a better result for them.”
Michelisz’s results from the weekend mean he remains 14th overall in the drivers’ standings, albeit now 48 points adrift of the top of the table.