Yvan Muller and Norbert Michelisz receive penalties for contact
Citroën Total WTCC’s Yvan Muller has received a five-place grid penalty for the next round of the Championship in Morocco in six weeks for contact with Sébastien Loeb Racing driver Mehdi Bennani in race two in Argentina, while Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz has been put back one spot in the final results by the stewards for an incident with Citroën’s Ma Qing Hua late in the same race.
Muller and Bennani had a coming together while fighting over fourth position on lap ten, with the front of Muller’s C-Elysée hitting the rear-right of Bennani’s car and turning the Moroccan sideways. Neither car sustained race ending damage, but Bennani lost two spots but later regained one, while Muller was forced to pit after a later off to clear his radiator.
“The second race is a bit of a lottery,” said Muller after the race. “It depends if you take the right option, and I took the wrong option (at the start). So I was at the back and even losing more places during the first lap. I tried overtaking Mehdi and we had a contact, and then I had to stop as my temperature went up and that was it.”
The stewards deemed Muller at fault for the contact and have handed him a five-place grid penalty for the next round in Marrakech on April 19th.
Norbert Michelisz also made contact with Ma Qing Hua’s Citroën with two laps to go, which allowed the Hungarian to grab back sixth position. For this smaller indiscretion, Michelisz was moved behind Ma in the final results, with Ma sixth and Michelisz now seventh.
The only other penalty was for Campos Racing’s John Filippi, who wasn’t up to speed behind the safety car and was given a 30 second penalty added to his race time, which drops him from 11th to 12th in the final results behind Yvan Muller.