Vincent Capillaire has apologized to Toyota Gazoo Racing for his actions on pit lane that ultimately led to the retirement of the No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid in last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Algarve Pro Racing driver, wearing an orange and black firesuit, was mistakenly identified for a pit lane marshal when he jumped in front of the then race-leading Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi and gave a thumbs up sign, prompting the Japanese driver to leave the closed pits.
Confusion over the Toyota radio ensued and, with Kobayashi having to stop and restart his LMP1 hybrid multiple times, resulting in terminal clutch failure.
“I wanted to show my encouragement to the leading car, [which was] stopped at the red light a few meters in front of my box,” Capillaire wrote on his Facebook page.
“It was a spontaneous [sign of] encouragement as it happens between drivers… I admit it was inopportune. I regret that.”
Toyota confirmed on Thursday that it received an apology from the French driver regarding his actions in the race.
“We have fully accepted his apology and acknowledge that his sporting gesture was never intended to cause any negative consequences for our No. 7 car,” a statement from Toyota read.
“We remain on good terms with Vincent and we consider the matter is now closed.”