Rob Huff says he is ‘upset’ with both Nicky Catsburg and the stewards after contact in the Main World Touring Car Championship race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife cost him a chance of a win.
Huff went into Turn 1 and 2 on the opening lap of the race challenging for the lead, trying to pass Polestar’s Catsburg on the outside through the second kink when the Volvo made contact with Huff.
The resulting slide dropped Huff to fourth, behind the Honda of Norbert Michelisz and the other Volvo of Thed Björk. Whilst the Brit was able to claw back the position off Björk, he was left to settle with the final podium position thereafter.
“Nicky completely messed up Turn 1,” said Huff. “He was too busy looking at Norbi on the outside and he went really deep.
“I tried to give him room, and because he’d messed the corner up, I expected him withdraw the front foot of his car from the inside of mine because he’d made a mistake, but he chose not to and that dropped me to fourth.
“I’m upset with Nicky, but I’m angrier with the stewards, because the inconsistency is unforgivable. [Race steward] Tim Schenken is a lifetime race-goer, he runs one of the best championships in the world, and he sees that as racing.
“OK, that’s fine – but where was he at the last race weekend when I got a penalty in Budapest when I just caught the back of Nicky just because I was being drilled from behind myself?
“We’re in a World Championship, so surely they can afford to bring the same stewards to each race weekend.
“Let’s bring back a driver steward, which is basically what Tim Schenken is. It’s unfortunate that this championship could be decided by the inconsistency of stewarding.”
Huff’s podium added to a third in the Opening Race, which he described as ‘one of the best races’ of his life, in which he duelled with Tiago Monteiro, Esteban Guerrieri and Tom Chilton as he moved up the order from eighth on the grid.
“Race 1 was probably one of the most exciting races of my life,” added Huff. “When you’ve been racing as long as I have, you start wondering if you’ve still got the balls you had when you were 20, and it turns out I still do.
“Tom [Chilton] is in the same car as me, he put me on the grass a little bit, but was fair. I was not going to give that up; I wanted the result for the boys.
“We’ve had two third places, so it’s been a fantastic weekend, and great for the team, being a German team at the Nürburgring.”
Huff leaves Germany fifth overall in the drivers’ championship standings with 102 points, 25 adrift of the series lead.