Loïc Duval claimed his first DTM podium of 2019, finishing third in the first race at Misano, Italy, however the Audi Sport Team Phoenix driver believes it could have been better if it wasn’t for the safety car intervention.
With Audi Sport Team Phoenix driver shadowing Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast for the opening laps, it looked like Audi would claim a 1-2 finish and Duval would equal his best ever DTM finish.
“I had a good start, I came quite close to René,” explained the French driver, “but you don’t want to try everything in the first corner for sure.
“It was already pretty cool to be in P2, and behind the guys were pretty far away, so I just backed off and with me and René I wanted to see how was the pace through the race.”
However, the safety car was called out due to the stranded BMW of Joel Eriksson, and eventual race winner BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann was brought back into contention as he had already made his mandatory stop.
“I did follow René for a while, until the safety car, in a way unfortunately for both of us I think it would have been a 1-2 for Audi today.”
The 36 year old believes that the safety car procedure can lead to races becoming a lottery, and was the deciding factor in Wittmann’s victory.
“It’s happened a few times already this year that we have the safety car.
“You can always argue if its necessary or not, but sometimes you are lucky sometimes unlucky, at the end we still score some good points and a podium.
“Don’t take me wrong, if the safety car didn’t happen, he [Wittmann] would have been far, far away with the drop of the tyre.
“The question is are they going to change their sensibility of when to put the safety car out.”
Duval now sits sixth in the standings with 38 points after securing only his second DTM podium.