Salzburgring WTCC: Gianni Morbidelli penalised, Yvan Muller on pole

Salzburgring fastest qualifier Gianni Morbidelli has been awarded a five-place post-qualifying grid penalty for Sunday's opening World Touring Car Championship race, handing pole position to Yvan Muller

Salzburgring WTCC: Gianni Morbidelli penalised, Yvan Muller on pole

Munnich Motorsport driver Morbidelli was judged by race officials to have set his fastest lap in the opening Q1 segment of the three-part qualifying session under a yellow flag.

As a result of the decision, Morbidelli loses his fastest Q1 time and is penalised five places on the race-one grid.

Morbidelli, who will now start from sixth place in the first encounter and fifth in the reversed-grid second race, believes the penalty is too harsh.

"I don't think this is a sporting decision," he said. "They could have taken off my Q1 fastest lap, considering my second best lap of the session was enough to be Q2. But this is a big penalty.

"It was [John] Filippi just parking before Turn 6. What can I do, pretend that I braked there? It was a straight and there was someone parking there. I cannot brake there in qualifying.

"We know the risk here and we know it is dusty when someone is going out and there can be problems with visibility. But there was no risk for someone parking there."

Revised race 1 grid: Pos Driver Team/Car 1. Yvan Muller Citroen 2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 3. Tom Coronel ROAL Chevrolet 4. Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 5. Tom Chilton ROAL Chevrolet 6. Gianni Morbidelli Munnich Chevrolet 7. Tiago Monteiro Honda 8. Mehdi Bennani Proteam Honda 9. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 10. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 11. Rene Munnich Munnich Chevrolet 12. Dusan Borkovic Campos Chevrolet 13. James Thompson Lada 14. Robert Huff Lada 15. Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 16. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 17. John Filippi Campos SEAT 18. Pasquale Di Sabatino Engstler BMW 
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