Mercedes DTM chief Ulrich Fritz has hit out at the way that two of his drivers were taken out on the final lap of the DTM race at the Red Bull Ring this afternoon.
Mercedes drivers Pascal Wehrlein – who was leading the championship at the time – and teammate Robert Wickens were both pushed into the gravel at Turn 3 following a push from Audi’s Timo Scheider.
The contact came seconds after a radio message to Scheider "schieb ihn raus" which translates to "push him out".
“It was disappointing that two of our cars in quite good positions were just taken out of the race,” said Fritz. “What we saw before that was definitely a hard fight for positions, but as far as I can see it was fair. What happened afterwards for me is not fair, it was clearly on purpose.
“We all heard the radio comment of somebody at Audi telling Timo to push the guy in front of him off. So I think that’s not what we want to see in DTM. And we are more than disappointed by it.”
Audi team boss Wolfgang Ullrich blamed what had gone on before the contact, when Wickens had appeared to attempt to box-in Scheider so that Werhlein could pass both of them.
“This situation for sure was not so nice because it was clear what game wanted to be a played with Timo,” he countered. “I have to say it was really emotional and I was not happy about what happened.
“If it is going to be played hard at the end, and we have some racing like this which we discuss very often, I’m not happy about these things but if it happens we should ensure in future it does not happen.”
When pressed about who gave the radio instruction, Ullrich stated: “It can’t be from my side, because I’m not linked to any of the drivers directly. I only talk to the heads of the teams, so it can’t be me.”