Piquet, Artam Slam Each Other

Nelson Piquet Jr was left disappointed after his qualifying session was ruined by a collision with iSport's Can Artam early in the session, leaving the Brazilian at the back of the grid for his home race tomorrow

Piquet, Artam Slam Each Other

Piquet, who has lived in the principality for almost his entire life, was close to tears after the incident, which happened on the downhill straight towards the Mirabeau corner, left his car broken and his dreams of a good qualifying session in tatters.

When asked for his take on the incident afterwards, Piquet noted: "He was on the left and I went to the inside, and then he came to the inside as well and that was it."

Piquet had been in a positive mood after this morning's practice session ­ he had not previously considered the circuit as one where he would shine as he had never driven here before - but after setting the early fastest times he had re-evaluated his ambitions for qualifying.

"I was really happy with the car this morning in free practice, and I was looking pretty good for qualifying, and then this idiot happened. He's been in Formula 3000 before, and now he's just here spending money thinking he's going to get somewhere and then look what happens.

"It's on the video and everyone can see what happened ­ there's nothing I need to say about it really."

Artam, however, blamed Piquet for the accident, which happened on the downhill section between Casino Square and the Mirabeau corner when Artam appeared to be driving very slowly and weaving across the track as Piquet approached on his hot lap.

Piquet went to the inside of the track on the racing line as Artam also moved over, with the inevitable consequences ­ Piquet was out immediately with broken suspension, while Artam managed to limp back to the pits before rejoining the session.

"He was driving on top of me and he tried to hit me twice," Artam insisted afterwards. "I was in the middle of the track and I tried to move across to give him room, but he was already there."

Artam angrily professed his innocence despite the common consensus in the paddock that he was at fault: "In Monaco we all have to give each other some space, so I don't know what he was doing.

"I would have moved over for him anyway ­ I wouldn't block him or hit him of course ­ but he just tried to get by anyway, and the second time he hit me was actually quite dangerous.

He went on to bemoan the interference to his qualifying programme before noting: "He broke his car of course, but he damaged mine as well, which will cost us more money.

"I think he was crazy!"

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