Photo: WTCC Media

Gianni Morbidelli loses Austrian pole, Yvan Muller inherits

Gianni Morbidelli has lost pole position for the Austrian round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship after receiving a grid penalty post qualifying for improving his time under yellow flags.

The Italian had stopped the Citroën team’s run of pole positions this season with an incredible lap with the 46-year-old himself was uncertain of where it came from to outqualify four-time champion Yvan Muller by less than a tenth of a second.

The stewards however found him guilty of improving his time in Q1 under yellow flags, when Campos Racing’s John Filippi was moving slowly on the circuit, and so have awarded him a five place penalty, which drops him to sixth behind Tom Chilton for the first race.

Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini was also investigated for improving his time in Q1, but an evaluation of Tarquini’s lap time against his practice time proved that his pace was in fact slower than his maximum, and so no further action will be taken.

Yvan Muller therefore inherits pole position ahead of team-mate Sébastien Loeb, with ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel the best placed of the Chevrolets in third for the first race.

With the reversed grid for race two based on the race one grid, Morbidelli is promoted to fifth for race two however, and will start as the best placed Chevrolet driver behind the four Hondas.

Morbidelli still keeps the five points for pole position, as the punishment is a grid penalty and not a time penalty.

Revised Salzburgring Qualifying Result: