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Farfus slams Rockenfeller for "extremely dangerous" block

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Farfus slams Rockenfeller for "extremely dangerous" block
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Co-author: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Jul 22, 2017, 5:19 PM

BMW driver Augusto Farfus has hit out at DTM rival Mike Rockenfeller for what he felt was an "extremely dangerous" move during their battle during Saturday's first Moscow race.

Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Podium: Race winner René Rast, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Audi RS 5 DTM, second place Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM, third place Marco Wittmann, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Podium: second place Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Augusto Farfus, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Augusto Farfus, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM, Augusto Farfus, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM, Loic Duval, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Augusto Farfus, BMW Team RMG, BMW M4 DTM
Podium: Race winner René Rast, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Audi RS 5 DTM, second place Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM
Podium: second place Mike Rockenfeller, Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi RS 5 DTM

Farfus had been attacking Audi driver Rockenfeller for second place on the second lap of the race, using DRS and moving to the inside approaching the final corner.

But as Rockenfeller moved to defend the inside line, the pair made contact, Farfus just keeping control and nudging ahead as they crossed the start/finish line before Rockenfeller moved back ahead.

Farfus then began to drop back with a front-right puncture and was forced to pit at the end of the third lap, effectively ending his race.

Rockenfeller, who was racing with a foot injury picked up in a major crash with Gary Paffett's Mercedes at the Norisring, escaped with only a warning from the stewards, and went on to finish second behind Audi squadmate Rene Rast.

In the aftermath, Farfus and Rockenfeller could be seen arguing at length during post-race media interviews.

The German told Farfus he felt the defensive move was "early enough" and that he was hoping the Brazilian would've backed out of the overtaking attempt, while Farfus insisted he had no opportunity to lift and avoid the accident.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Farfus slammed Rockenfeller's "unacceptable" driving and expressed his surprise that the German escaped a more severe penalty.

"The move from Rocky was unacceptable," said the Brazilian. "The level we race here, it is extremely dangerous. You cannot overreact to someone to your side at 260 [km/h] and push the guy off-track.

"It could have been a super-bad crash. I was on the DRS on the inside and he pushed me off track, [for him] to get only a warning from it is a bit optimistic.

"If you see a guy coming with DRS, you have to block. But you can’t block when the guy is by your side. That’s what he did. He changed [his line] once but he pushed me off track.

"These things can’t happen in this championship at that speed. We saw an extremely big crash where he was involved at the Norisring. You cannot take these risks."

BMW motorsport boss Jens Marquardt took a similarly dim view of Rockenfeller's driving.

"For me this manoeuvre was for me on the edge of sporting [behaviour], it was completely unnecessary, and for me stupid and dangerous as well," he told Motorsport.com.

"I hope he apologises to Augusto, because he destroyed his race."

Asked if Rockenfeller's should have been given a penalty for the move, Marquardt replied: "Absolutely.

"I don’t think a warning was the right thing, especially when you destroy somebody’s race and you then end up on the podium."

Speaking in the post-race press conference Rockenfeller said he felt Farfus had simply driven into him once he had made his move to defend his line, but added he needed to see a replay to be certain.

"First I need to see a little bit the video, but in my opinion he tried to attack, I wanted to close [the door], I changed once my line, and he drove into my car," said the German.

"That’s how I felt. But I need to see the pictures, maybe I’m completely wrong."

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About this article

Series DTM
Event Moscow
Location Moscow Raceway
Drivers Augusto Farfus , Mike Rockenfeller
Author Jamie Klein