ABU DHABI, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Toyota’s Jarno Trulli and Force India’s Adrian Sutil heated up an old argument at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Thursday after almost trading blows in Brazil 11 days ago.
Waving photographs to make his point, Italian Trulli angrily questioned his German rival’s eyesight after being accused of ‘freaking out’ in a lively FIA news conference at the Yas Marina circuit.
After lighting the touch paper with a question about the pair’s first lap collision at Interlagos, an incident that led to Trulli being fined $10,000 for aggressively confronting Sutil, reporters sat back and waited for more sparks to fly.
Trulli obliged, seemingly more intent on burying the hatchet in Sutil than backing down.
“Obviously it was very disappointing to end the race like that, especially on the first lap,” he said.
“I think I had all the reason to be extremely furious. I’ve got all the evidence to show that I was there and was next to him, and tomorrow we are going to discuss about it.”
Sutil bristled at that suggestion.
“There’s nothing to discuss, it was quite an obvious incident,” he said.
“In the end it was very disappointing for myself, even more because I was the one who was driving and he lost control of his car and crashed into my back.
“It was his problem. I don’t know why he’s freaking out like that to be honest.”
Trulli, whose future after Sunday’s season-ending race is uncertain, hit back immediately: “I don’t know if you’re blind but I can clearly show you my front wing is next to your front wing.”
Sutil refused to take that lying down.
“But you’re trying to overtake around me the outside on the kerb. There was not a problem. You were just not going off the power. The same happened in Barcelona where you lost control again and crashed again into a Force India car,” he said.
“You have to sometimes respect the limits of the car. If you’ve nowhere to go, you have to back off. That’s how racing is. I don’t know how long you want to learn it.”
Trulli disagreed, turning to reporters to explain: “In Barcelona I spun and he hit me because he cut the kerb, cut the circuit completely, and he didn’t slow down.”
“I didn’t hit you. You hit me,” retorted Sutil, bristling visibly. “I don’t know what is your problem. I really don’t understand.”
Renault’s double world champion Fernando Alonso, who was also involved in the collision in Brazil, refused to get involved in the revival of hostilities.
“I saw everything more or less ... but we will discuss it in the drivers’ briefing. Deeply,” he said. (Editing by Sonia Oxley; To query or comment on this story firstname.lastname@example.org)