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DTM Norisring

DTM drivers hit out at David Schumacher for "driving like a blind man"

Several DTM drivers were critical of David Schumacher’s driving after he was involved in incidents in both legs of last weekend’s Norisring double-header.

David Schumacher, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD Mercedes-AMG

In the opening race at the popular German street venue, Winward Mercedes driver Schumacher was battling with Luca Engstler for 19th position when he made contact with the Audi driver at the apex of Turn 1, sending the 23-year immediately into retirement.

The stewards deemed Schumacher responsible for the collision and handed him a five-second penalty, which dropped him from 14th to outside the points in 16th place.

The son of former Formula 1 race winner and DTM driver Ralf Schumacher was then involved in another incident in the second race of the weekend, this time with the Audi of Patric Niederhauser.

In a battle for 16th spot on the track, Schumacher drove into the back of Niederhauser under braking for Turn 1, pitching the Swiss driver into a spin and dealing his Audi with serious damage.

Niederhauser was heard shouting "what a f*****g idiot! F*****g Schumacher!" over team radio, as he headed back to the garage to retire from the race.

Speaking later to broadcaster ran.de, he added: "I couldn't look at [the incident] from the outside yet. From the inside, it didn't feel so optimal. 

“The race was actually over after that. Of course, emotions always boil up in the car. That's clear. It's not nice."

Niederhauser had a conversation with Schumacher after the race but only “briefly [and] it was not so good.”

Schumacher was again judged to be responsible for the collision and has been hit with a five-place grid penalty for the next round at the Nurburgring on August 5-6.

Preining hits out

Thomas Preining, Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3-R

Thomas Preining, Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3-R

Photo by: Andreas Beil

After the collision, Schumacher rejoined the track directly in the path of Thomas Preining, who had just exited the pits on cold tyres and had to take evasive action in order to avoid contact with the Mercedes. 

Although the Manthey EMA driver went on to win the race in his Porsche after passing Schubert BMW duo Sheldon van der Linde and Rene Rast, Preining blasted Schumacher for his driving standards in the DTM.

“The 27 car, the Mercedes, spun in turn 1 and rejoined almost into me,” he said.

“I almost had to stop in the middle of the track, otherwise maybe we could have been very close to Sheldon on his pit exit. 

“In the end it makes no difference. Not nice to almost crash but we didn't so it's all good.”

Speaking to ran.de, he added: “I was completely blocked. It was like when someone takes your right of way in normal traffic - from a blind spot.

"I think he stopped because his car is broken. I'm going into the corner normally. I lost two seconds there. He drove back onto the track like a blind man. 

“But we still won. From that point of view, I don't care."

Schumacher’s defence

David Schumacher, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD

David Schumacher, Mercedes-AMG Team WINWARD

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Schumacher took full responsibility for his incident with Niederhauser, explaining how the ABS system on his Mercedes caused him to lose control under braking and crash into the back of his Audi rival.

"It was definitely my fault," Schumacher said. "I couldn't help it. We have the ABS system in the Mercedes just like all the other cars. I was braking normally. At some point, the ABS went in so hard at the front.

"I think I hit a bump somewhere. The car is then like on black ice on the front axle. Then the decision was inside or outside. I decided to go on the outside, but there wasn't enough room and I still hit him on the left-rear.

"Too bad! That cost his race and also mine. I'm sorry for him, too. It's like that, I can't change it." 

However, the 21-year-old said he wasn’t to blame for his collision with Engstler, labelling the penalty he got for their clash as “completely unfair.” 

"I have to say I find it cheeky," Schumacher told ran.de. "It was a super clean overtaking move. At the end of the day, Luca just overlooked me, turned into me. And for that I got a penalty, which I find completely unfair.

"With the ADAC rules, it becomes difficult to overtake. They want you to brake as late as possible and be completely off before the turn-in point, preferably before - which is difficult here at the Norisring."

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