Monza Lada collision could cost Aleksei Dudukalo his WTCC seat
|By Sam Tremayne||Monday, March 25th 2013, 13:30 GMT|
Lukoil is considering dropping Aleksei Dudukalo from the Lada World Touring Car Championship programme as a result of his intra-team qualifying crash at Monza.
The 36-year-old Russian misjudged his braking and speared into the side of team-mate James Thompson's Granta, a collision that ultimately led to both cars being withdrawn from Sunday's races.
AUTOSPORT understands that Lukoil, title sponsor of Lada's new works outfit, is considering replacing Dudukalo for the rest of the season.
"Aleksei is not confirmed for Marrakech," Lukoil Racing director Evgeny Malinovskiy told AUTOSPORT.
"It will not be an easy decision but I think he goes back to the Russian championship."
Asked whether the decision came in response to the qualifying collision, Malinovskiy said: "Yes. I think he will stop.
"I have Mikhail Kozlovskiy, a younger guy in my team in Russia. He has no experience in WTCC but we would like to try and get him in. I think we have decided, but confirmation will be next week."
While any driver change would also need approval from team principal Viktor Shapovalov, Shapovalov told AUTOSPORT that Malinovskiy would ultimately make the final call.
James Thompson, who had been due to start on the front row for race two, said he bore Dudukalo no grudges.
"I like Dudukalo, he didn't do it on purpose," he told AUTOSPORT.
"It's a shame though as I'd have loved to see our potential, particularly from the front row."