Norbert Michelisz has admitted being at fault for the start crash which took him and Engstler Motorsport’s Attila Tassi out of the second FIA World Touring Car Cup race in Pau.
Immediately after the start lights went out, BRC Racing’s Michelisz moved over to try to defend his lead from fellow Hungarian Tassi.
However, the Hyundai driver left nowhere for his Honda rival to go, squeezing him against the wall and Tassi thus bounced back into Michelisz, taking both drivers out of contention.
The stewards also took a dim view of Michelisz’s action, handing him a six-lace grid penalty for the next race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife as well as handing him three penalty points on his racing licence.
The 2019 champion had earlier finished ninth in race one, making up one place on his starting position when Tassi had to pit with a puncture.
“Mixed feelings for me this weekend,” said Michelisz. “I’m happy for the team and for Mikel [Azcona]’s win, but unfortunately, I made a mistake in race two which cost me a lot of points so I’m sorry about that.
“In race two my start was better than in race one. I tried to defend my position but unfortunately, collided with Attila.
“I misjudged my positioning a bit. I’m sorry for the outcome because it could have been good points. But sometimes you need to move on and learn from the mistakes you are doing.
“I’m still happy that we are both OK and I’m looking forward to the future event.”