Lawson hits out at "idiot" van der Linde after losing DTM title

Red Bull protege Liam Lawson lashed out at "idiot" Kelvin van der Linde after losing the DTM title at the Norisring, describing him as the "dirtiest guy" he's ever raced against.

Lawson was the favourite for the 2021 drivers' title heading into the final race of the season at the Norisring on Sunday, and strengthened his chances of lifting the trophy by taking pole position in his AF Corse Ferrari.

But the 19-year-old was hit by an opportunistic van der Linde at Turn 2 on the opening lap, suffering severe suspension damage to his car in the process.

This was the second race in a row where the two championship protagonists came to blows at the hairpin, after van der Linde attempted a similar move in Saturday's opening encounter - although at that occasion it was the Audi driver that came off worse.

With Lawson tumbling to the rear of the pack in his impaired Ferrari, Maximilian Gotz was able to overturn a 19-point deficit to snatch the title from the Kiwi - taking advantage of Mercedes' controversial call to employ team orders late in the race.

Speaking after his title defeat, Lawson didn't mince words while describing his first lap clash with van der Linde, saying the Abt Sportsline driver should have learned from his actions after Race 1.

"It's exactly the same as Saturday," said Lawson of the incident. "I really thought the guy would learn. After what he did yesterday to do the exact same thing, ugh! 

"Obviously, it ruined out race from there, so pretty gutted. I'm just disappointed for the whole team, they really deserved this [title], they worked so hard this year. 

"Every weekend I've given the absolute maximum, I really wanted to repay them with the title. We were right there with pole position, the car was really good and I had another good start. But sometimes you just can't prevent the same idiots from doing the same thing."

He added: "I am of course very disappointed. I am immensely sorry for my whole team. They deserved that. When you get pushed off by the same guy over and over again.... That's honestly the dirtiest guy I've ever raced against. He never seems to learn.

"To not make through Turn 1 cleanly on both days, to get taken out by the same drivers both days is very very frustrating and I would have thought the guy would learn but maybe he never learns."

Start action, Nick Cassidy, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, Liam Lawson, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, Kelvin van der Linde, Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3

Start action, Nick Cassidy, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, Liam Lawson, AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo, Kelvin van der Linde, Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Van der Linde himself finished outside of the points after picking up a puncture in a battle with Gotz for third place, ending his maiden season third in the standings.

The South African defended his start incident with Lawson in Sunday's race, saying he had a hard time slowing down the car to make it through the corner.

"I'll say braking in turn 1 is always difficult," van der Linde told German broadcaster ran.de. "I was surprised there, to be honest. The brake wasn't really there in my opinion. Then I had to take evasive action. I didn't want to drive into his car, that wasn't my job. Then we had contact in Turn 1."

Van der Linde was hit with a five-second time penalty for cutting the corner just prior to his clash with Lawson.

shares
comments

Related video

Norisring DTM: Gotz wins title after Mercedes imposes team orders 

Previous article

Norisring DTM: Gotz wins title after Mercedes imposes team orders 

Next article

Mercedes defends team orders call in DTM title decider

Mercedes defends team orders call in DTM title decider
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Prime

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in.

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream" Prime

How Audi's new DTM flagbearer is closing on his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet.

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Prime

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works.

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Prime

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Prime

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020