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Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich apologizes to Mercedes over last-lap clash

Image: Audi AG

Audi’s Head of Motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, has formally apologised to Mercedes-Benz, after an incident involving two-time Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters champion, Timo Scheider, saw both Pascal Wehrlein and Robert Wickens go off track on turn 3 at the Red Bull Ring during race two.

As Wickens was attempting to prevent Scheider from getting past for seventh place, after a hard but fair manouver from Wehrlein into turn two,  a call over the radio came from Dr. Ullrich himself, saying “Timo, push him out!”

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“That was obviously not a nice ending of an otherwise tremendous race,” explained Dr. Ullrich, who said normal procedure was not followed as per usual. “But it was most definitely not my intention that Robert and Pascal end up in the gravel trap.

“I’m sorry that I shouted, ‘Timo, push him out’ in my initial emotion at the command post. I do not communicate with the drivers by radio during the race and did not know that the radio was open.”

He was also adamant that it was “not an instruction,” in terms of the comment that he made at that point in the race.

“I can only apologize to Mercedes for this remark. An expression like that does not reflect my idea of motorsport, but was strictly due to the adrenaline at that moment. I’m a racer and was fuming about the way Timo was dealt with. It’s a shame that due to this incident, a shadow has been cast on the impeccable performance. delivered by Mattias and the entire Audi squad. Our Audi RS 5 DTM was the strongest car here, both in dry and wet conditions.”

Mercedes’ Head of DTM, Ulrich Fritz, was not happy with the conduct of both Audi and Scheider, in terms of the incident in question:

“To lose two cars on the final lap when they were heading for a points-scoring finish is simply not acceptable. The behaviour of Audi and Timo Scheider is extremely unsportsmanlike in our view.

“To deliberately take the championship leader out of the race when prompted has nothing to do with fair play and is not what we want to see in the DTM. Most of all, I feel really sorry for Pasca,l who has lost vital points in the championship race as a result.”

Despite feeling aggrivated and not best pleased with his exit from the race, Wehrlein will be using this anger to move forwards, ahead of the next race weekend at Moscow Raceway: “After this race, it’s all about the incident on the last lap, obviously.

“Audi’s and Timo Scheider’s actions were totally lacking in sportsmanship and cost me vital points in the championship battle. Such a thing should never happen in our sport.”


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