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DTM clarifies decision to exclude Auer, Mortara and Spengler

DTM officials have clarified the decision to excluded Lucas Auer, Edoardo Mortara and Bruno Spengler from the second race in Budapest over pitlane collisions.

The three drivers were excluded several hours after Sunday’s rain affected race following crashes in the pitlane, in which all three drivers slid into their team’s pit equipment and went on to collect scrutineers and pit mechanics.

The incidents caused the stoppage of the race for over half an hour whilst the injured were taken by ambulance and air ambulance to hospital.

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The decision to exclude the trio proved to be controversial, with some confused by the situation which saw none of the drivers speeding in the pitlane.

The statement from the DTM read: “All the three violated a very clearly formulated paragraph of the DTM’s sporting regulations: ‘From entering the working lane, a driver has to reduce his speed to an extent that he is able to stop his car at his garage without endangering other competitors or the marshals.’

“In other words: the driver has to do everything to avoid any danger. Should he make an accident, nevertheless, he was too fast and is penalised.

“That’s very similar to what happens in the day-to-day traffic: if you cause a rear-end collision you will be penalised by the police for inadequate speed. The reasoning ‘I wasn’t too fast’, doesn’t count as you quite obviously were too fast and didn’t brake hard enough for avoiding the accident.”

On the issue of why the drivers were excluded even though they were not speeding, the DTM added: “A road-traffic example illustrates the problem. In the German cities, 50 kph are compulsory but this can be far too fast for braking on wet cobble stones and may result in an accident.

“In this case, neither the city that laid the cobble-stone pavement nor the police that didn’t block the road in wet conditions are responsible – but the driver who was too fast for the weather conditions.”

Questions have been raised over the suitability of the concrete surface which adorns the pitlane and which contributed to drivers losing control of their cars on the wet surface.

“The last circuit approval by the World Motorsport Association, FIA, was awarded on 20th July, 2015,” said the DTM. “Since then, the circuit including the pit lane hasn’t been modified. Only parts of the circuit’s tarmac surface have been replaced.”

It is understood that the marshal hit by Auer’s car suffered from severe leg injuries and was transported to hospital during the race stoppage.

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