Mortara and Eriksson disagree
Bookings in motor racings often are controversial. Every driver has got his individual point of view. And this also applied to the second DTM race meeting of the season, at the Lausitzring. Twice, Joel Eriksson and Edoardo Mortara were involved in close encounters and in both cases, the Mercedes-AMG driver was booked. The DMSB race control came to the conclusion that Mortara pushed the BMW driver off the track twice and consequently, he was forced to let himself drop back behind Eriksson both times.
The rookie could comprehend the decisions. “Edo pushed me away twice,” said Eriksson. “This was rather rough driving and the decisions were comprehensible. I think, both bookings were absolutely adequate.” Meanwhile, Mortara, winner of the Saturday race, fumed: “I’m completely frustrated. How couldn’t I be frustrated today? In two cases, I had to return a position I had gained before. This possibly cost me a podium. In the first case it was okay as our cars touched. But I can’t understand the decision regarding the second incident. There will be fans that support me and some others will take another point of view – but they generally don’t understand what happened today. The decisions unfortunately aren’t consistent. Sometimes you have to return a position although there wasn’t any contact and in another case you are pushed onto the grass and nothing happens.” Mortara started into the race from sixth position on the grid and had to settle for finishing 11th in the end.
“As former racing driver I know that you occasionally tend to be extremely emotional, after a race,” said DTM boss Gerhard Berger, thus displaying some understanding for Mortara’s anger. “But first of all, you have to know that DMSB and not DTM is responsible for the assessment of violation on the track and the penalties for these incidents. I agree that you can argue against the decision Edo had to cope with. But no matter if in Formula One, MotoGP or football: I expect that a professional sportsman accepts the decisions of those responsible and makes his comments in a respectful way. Edo did a fantastic job in the Saturday race but in the heat on Sunday he arguably still was overwhelmed by his win in the first race.
Apart from Mortara, Lucas Auer, Philipp Eng and Mike Rockenfeller also were booked at the Lausitzring. For the Austrian Eng who pushed Wehrlein away it already was the second booking in the 2018 season. In the case of a third booking he will receive a five-position grid penalty. “We talked about it after the race and it was okay for Pascal. The regulations are quite clear but possibly were interpreted somewhat unfortunately. It wasn’t on purpose. I realised that he was braking late on the inside but things got somewhat tight at the exit. Nonetheless, we didn’t touch,” said Eng, thus accepting his booking far more relaxed than Mortara.