Jarno Trulli hit out at Formula 1 rival Sébastien Bourdais following the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, in which a collision between the pair at the start destroyed the Italian's race.
The two drivers had lined up alongside each other on the fourth row of the grid and Trulli approached the first corner narrowly ahead, but as Bourdais dived to the inside they touched, sending the Toyota into a spin, with the resultant bodywork damage proving to be too serious to be able to continue. Afterwards the 34-year-old made clear his anger with the Frenchman, who had similarly knocked him into a spin in the Belgian Grand Prix early last month.
“This guy has to cool down a little bit and make up his mind,” Trulli told ITV Sport
, “because at the start he doesn't know what he wants to do. Away from the line I was side-by-side with [Sebastian] Vettel; obviously he was on the inside so I had to give up, then I had a hit on the rear-right and they told me it was Bourdais. My car was damaged really badly and I had to retire.
“It is frustrating because he did this once before this year at Spa, where he also ruined my race at the first corner. Today I couldn't carry on, which is a pity because we had a very good chance of more points. Still, there is one more race to go and we will push to the end to try and finish the season on a high in Brazil.”
“Today got off to the worst of starts when Jarno was put out of the race by another car,” added Toyota team principal Tadashi Yamashima. “His motivation was very high and he could certainly have made the top six, but instead he suffered damage to the whole of the right side of his car, including the bodywork and aerodynamic parts so it was undriveable.”
Bourdais, for his part, protested his innocence over the coming-together, suggesting Trulli had merely turned in without seeing him. The collision also scuppered his hopes of a points finish, leaving the record-breaking multiple Champ Car king down at the back of the order from where he would recover to an unlucky 13th at the chequered flag.
“I'm not sure what happened with Trulli at the first corner,” confessed the 29-year-old, fighting to keep his seat in the top flight next year. “I guess he didn't see me. I was halfway alongside him and he turned in.
“I was right under Sebastian's rear wing and of course we are all very close in the first corner. We touched, he spun and I went really wide, dropped to the back and that was my race spoilt.
“It was a shame because after that, every time I was in clean air I had good pace and passed around half a dozen cars. Finishing 13th having been last is not a bad result, but it's disappointing, given we started eighth with a car good enough to score points today.”
“Bourdais' race was lost at the first corner after a collision with Trulli,” concurred STR team principal Franz Tost, “but after that some competitive lap times showed the car performance was good.”