Vanthoor claims Kubica pushed him off on function in race-ending Le Mans conflict


BMW driver Dries Vanthoor believes AF Corse Ferrari rival Robert Kubica intentionally pushed him off the monitor whereas attempting to lap him through the night time ultimately weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Vanthoor has expressed his disappointment at what he believes was an absence of respect from the one-time Components 1 race winner after he was despatched to the medical centre for check-ups as a result of sizeable impression from their collision.

Talking on the ‘Over the restrict’ podcast he collectively hosts with brother and Porsche manufacturing facility driver Laurens, Vanthoor mentioned: “I personally suppose sure, that he did it on function as a result of the way in which he tried to defend himself was incorrect.

“The best way he didn’t care about me after the crash, or didn’t present any respect or simply human being to me, additionally confirmed to me that it was on function. Simply not caring, simply not coming to see how I used to be doing.

“I had a small concussion, I’ve a bit factor on my left foot. Not doing any effort to even ship a textual content and know the way I’m doing [was disappointing].


“If I had a crash with somebody and I might know he’s harm or he has to go the medical centre, you’d simply be respectful. I do know we’re racing and we wish to race exhausting. This was simply very unrespectful [sic] and for me not accomplished and one thing you do not do in racing. It is utterly incorrect.

“You need to present respect. All of us wish to be secure, it is the primary precedence of each organiser, FIA, ACO, SRO. It is the primary precedence in racing.

“Even when he was pissed off, even when it was my very own mistake of the crash, which let’s be utterly straight, it wasn’t in any respect, I might have nonetheless mentioned one thing.

#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica, Robert Shwartzman, Yifei Ye

Picture by: Alexander Trienitz

“I might have mentioned, ‘sorry mate, I changed into you’. However he simply turned to the fitting like no one was there and I used to be driving there, driving utterly straight.”

Vanthoor was attempting to remain on the lead lap in his WRT-run #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 within the ninth hour, having simply switched from moist tyres to slicks, when he encountered the race-leading #83 satellite tv for pc Ferrari 499P of Kubica on the Mulsanne straight.

The Belgian driver missed the second chicane on chilly tyres and needed to take to the escape highway earlier than rejoining the monitor, placing him within the thick of the battle with Kubica – who beforehand raced for WRT in LMP2 – and the #92 Porsche GT3 automobile.

However because the ex-F1 driver tried to leap each approaching the braking zone for the right-hand Mulsanne Nook, he jinked to the fitting and clipped Vanthoor’s BMW, pitching him head-on into the boundaries on the left-hand facet of the highway.

Such was the depth of the impression that the automobile bounced again and skated to the within facet of the monitor, earlier than coming to a relaxation with heavy injury to the front-end.

The collision between Vanthoor and Kubica marked a untimely finish to BMW’s race, with the sister #20 automobile having already been despatched again to the storage following a separate accident when Robin Frijns crashed on the Ford Chicane.

The stewards deemed Kubica responsible of inflicting the crash and handed him a 30-second cease/go penalty, a sanction that was described as too lenient by WRT boss Vincent Vosse.

Explaining the moments within the lead-up to the crash, Vanthoor mentioned: “Going into the second chicane, there was a Ford simply in entrance of us.

“So I used to be like, f**ok I must get by this Ford. So we braked for the nook, simply behind the Ford. I braked on the identical level as him.

#15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann

#15 BMW M Workforce WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann

Picture by: BMW AG

“However I used to be like ‘I must get this Ford between us [so] I haven’t got the blue flag’ as a result of he must move the Ford first. However I used to be on the within on chilly tyres on moist a part of the monitor and I did not make the nook.

“I went on energy once more [after the chicane] and he had a run on me once more.

“I attempted to make use of the Porsche to sluggish him down, however it did not work as a result of he had such a run, so I used to be truthful in that method to make the area and let go the Porsche by to not make it harmful.

“And sadly, he determined to make it extra harmful and pushed me off the highway. That was it truly.”

Vanthoor revealed that he acquired a whole lot of hate messages within the aftermath of the accident on social media, with many accusing him of not respecting blue flags when a sooner Ferrari was on his tail.

Whereas he did admit that he had been instructed to do every little thing it took to remain on the lead lap to stay within the hunt for a prime consequence, the 2017 GTE Am class winner at Le Mans claimed he had sufficient time underneath the rules earlier than letting Kubica by way of.

“They [BMW] informed me it will be essential to maintain the automobile behind to remain on the lead lap, as a result of when you find yourself not on the lead lap, until there’s a security automobile then it’s totally troublesome to get your lap again,” he added.

“If you find yourself lap down, it’s totally very robust to unimaginable to do one thing.

“For all of the haters who mentioned ‘why you exceeded blue flags’, I noticed the replays and I noticed there was a blue flag. However when you find yourself in a battle or within the second I truthfully didn’t see [it].

#15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor

#15 BMW M Workforce WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor

Picture by: BMW AG

“And even when I had seen it, I would not have accomplished something as a result of the rule is in WEC you’ve one sector or two time to let any individual go for blue flags.

“Perhaps I totally didn’t respect the rule, however the rule mentioned I had two sectors to let any individual by. I did not attempt to let him by, however individuals can cease saying this as a result of it is bullshit.”

On his half, Kubica denied that he triggered the incident on function, stating that any try at touching one other automobile at high-speed would have jeopardised his personal probabilities for victory.

“Firstly, I am not the kind of one that would swerve into one other automobile at 300kph, main in a race and with 18 hours to go,” he mentioned in an interview with Mikołaj Sokoł for Motowizja.

“By swerving into him I might be the one risking ending up within the boundaries on the fitting. That is the primary argument.

“The second argument is that if it had been me [causing the collision], my automobile ought to have moved a lot earlier, not simply after contact. And that was not the case.”

Kubica additionally hit again at Vanthoor for not respecting blue flags or letting him by simply when he was about to drop a lap down, saying: “I come from a championship the place you’ve respect for different drivers, particularly the leaders, particularly when you find yourself being lapped.

“However, there are additionally championships, and apparently that is what Dries races in, the place the blue flags and the foundations and rules do not give a rattling [about them]. I am lucky sufficient to have grown up in these first championships.

#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica

#83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P: Robert Kubica

Picture by: Marc Fleury

“Nevertheless, there are drivers in slower vehicles who wish to show themselves in any respect prices. I do not know why.

“I do know Dries has been instructed to remain on the lead lap in any respect prices. Effectively if somebody tells me to leap from the eighth flooring, for instance an engineer, I will not do it. However apparently there are drivers who would do it.”

The #83 499P Kubica shared with Ferrari manufacturing facility drivers Robert Shwartzman and Yifei Ye retired with simply over three hours to run resulting from hybrid points.

You’ll be able to hear in full to the Vanthoor brothers’ podcast here.

Further reporting by Tomasz Kaliński

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