A war of words broke out between Malaysia's Alex Yoong and Kiwi ace Jonny Reid following the feature outing in Zhuhai, after the pair once again controversially came together on the race track - with the former coming off considerably worse.

Having already collided during the early laps of the feature race in front of Yoong's home crowd in Sepang three weeks ago, the Malaysian and New Zealand cars crossed swords once more on lap one in China, with the yellow machine spinning off into the barriers and out of the action, having completed just one racing lap all weekend.

"I haven't seen the replay or spoken to him yet, but from my point-of-view he just took me out," Yoong raged afterwards, fierce in his criticism of his rival. "We were going side-by-side through a corner that was very wide and had plenty of room, we had contact and I'm off into the dirt and into the barrier.

"It was a big accident, so unless I find out something different from him, it was stupid and dangerous driving. I was four or five feet from him and then the next thing I know he was hitting me."

The accident compounded another disappointing weekend for Malaysia, which had also been involved in the multi-car opening lap accident in the sprint race. The squad currently sits a lowly 16th in the nations' standings, having finished fifth and sixth respectively over the first two campaigns.

"Anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong," former grand prix star Yoong lamented. "There was nothing we could have done. The boys did a pretty good job and we just got it out in time for the feature race, then we only did half a lap again.

"The people who suffer the most are the mechanics. They worked so hard to get the car ready and now it is in the barrier."

Reid, however, remained unrepentant over the clash, describing it as merely a racing incident after going on to take the chequered flag in second place, behind first-time winner Narain Karthikeyan.

"That's racing I'm afraid," the 24-year-old reflected. "If you're going to hang around the outside and squeeze me, then my rear tyre touches the kerb, then he is going to get touched. If it gets that tight then things are going to happen like that.

"It's a long race and it is not won in the first corner as we showed today. Maybe that's a bit of advice for them. I haven't spoken with Alex yet, but I don't really have anything to say.

"Alex tried it on in Malaysia and he didn't give me an inch. I got a puncture as well, and that arguably knocked us off the podium, if not a race win."

The three-time A1GP race-winner did, however, accept the blame for an incident with Canada's Robert Wickens in the earlier sprint race, as the pair battled hard over the final points-paying position in the closing laps.

"I feel a little bit sorry for Canada," Reid continued. "I came off the previous corner and got a little high on the kerb, and I went to brake and there were no brakes there.

"I quickly positioned the car out of his line, and he was braking on the correct line but I switched the car to the inside. I was sliding into the corner with the pedal to the floor, and he turned in and we touched.

"I carried on, and that was out of character for me and I put my hand up for that one, but at the end of the day I didn't know the pedal was going to go to the floor. Robert is a good guy and I'm sure he understands."

Reid was elated with crossing the line second in the feature race after lining up tenth on the grid, a timely boost ahead of the team's home event in Taupo in five weeks' time. What's more, the rostrum finish helped to move New Zealand to within just one point of second-placed France in the title chase.

"I'm ecstatic with the result," he enthused. "We are a solid team and the results just repaid us for it. I can't wait to get home so hopefully the whole grandstands are full of New Zealand supporters dressed in black, and we can have a bit of a repeat performance there.

"If we can qualify well there we can certainly win there, and I'm looking forward to turning it on for the home crowd.'"

 

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