Paul Ricard WTCC: Lopez rejects Monteiro collision criticism

Honda's Tiago Monteiro slammed World Touring Car champion Jose Maria Lopez after their Paul Ricard collision, but the Citroen driver insisted he did not feel even 'one per cent guilty'

Paul Ricard WTCC: Lopez rejects Monteiro collision criticism

The reverse-grid format had placed the dominant Citroens just inside the top 10, forcing Lopez to carve through the field from eighth.

Lopez took a wide line into Turn 1 trying to pass Monteiro for second, but the Honda man remained narrowly ahead of the Argentinian and was pitched into a spin.

Monteiro sustained broken suspension, while Lopez went on to win.

VIDEO: LOPEZ/MONTEIRO COLLISION

A post-race investigation decided that no further action would be taken, much to Monteiro's anger.

"Of course I'm angry because even if he had been penalised, it would not have changed my result," he said.

"This podium was very important for the team and for me."

Lopez refused to accept any blame for the incident, believing Monteiro took a gamble with his defence.

"On the first lap I managed to pass Ma [Qing Hua] without losing time and contact with the leaders," he said.

"Then the second key moment was when I was trying on the outside with Tiago.

"He just came to me, I turned and I couldn't do anything.

"It was a shame for him. He took the risk but he lost his race.

"I cannot say anything because I don't feel guilty for one per cent of the manoeuvre."

The officials investigated both drivers' actions, but ruled neither was to blame.

"The stewards do not believe either driver were wholly or predominantly to blame for the action," said their statement.

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Paul Ricard WTCC: Citroen's Jose Maria Lopez wins from eighth

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