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“Do not agree at all”: Aitken penalized for collision with van der Linde

The collision with Jack Aitken cost Kelvin van der Linde the DTM lead: Why the Emil Frey driver was penalized and his Ferrari team criticizes the verdict

Excitement at Sunday’s DTM race (race report) at the Norisring – with explosive implications for the title fight: DTM leader Kelvin van der Linde, who is fourth at the start, collided with Emil Frey Ferrari driver Jack Aitken, who had just come out of the pits with cold tires, in the Schöller-S while attempting to overtake and spun into the tire stacks. The Abt Audi driver lost nine positions in the process – and the championship lead.

How did he see the situation? “Everyone saw it,” says the South African, who finished ninth, “I honestly don’t want to comment now. I think it’s quite clear what happened.”

I’m glad that the car was able to continue despite the huge impact into the wall – and that we were still able to pick up five points,” said van der Linde, who is now second in the championship, five points behind Mirko Bortolotti.

Why the stewards ruled against Aitken

“I was hoping that Jack would get a penalty in the race,” he clarifies. “That would have been the right thing to do, but we’ll see what happens with the stewards now.” The stewards proved the Abt Audi driver right: Aitken was handed a 15-second penalty after the race, the equivalent of three penalty laps, which meant that the Briton finished 18th instead of eleventh.

Race director Sven Stoppe decided during the race to pass the matter on to the stewards – and they clearly put the blame on Aitken. Why? The Ferrari driver, who hit the Audi in the rear wheel area, had approached the Schöller-S on the inside lane at too high a speed, causing the collision that damaged van der Linde’s race.

“Kelvin didn’t give Jack enough space “

How does the Emil Frey team view the decision? “I don’t think the decision was right because van der Linde’s overtaking maneuver was very risky,” says Jürg Flach, technical director of the Swiss racing team and former F1 employee at Sauber, “in a section of the track where overtaking is really not easy.”

According to the Swiss driver, Kelvin van der Linde should have driven “with foresight”. “In my opinion, that was not the case in this instance. Kelvin van der Linde did not give Jack enough space, even if the stewards have now seen it differently.” That’s why they “don’t agree at all” with the verdict.

Incidentally, the two clashed again shortly before the end when van der Linde attacked the Ferrari driver in the final phase after the restart in the Grundig-Kehre and, after another contact, passed the tenth-placed driver on the inside

Van der Linde unsafe release victim? No penalty against Engel

What could have been possible for van der Linde in the end is shown by another controversial situation: During the mandatory stop, Maro Engel, who finished second in the end, was sent out by the Winward crew directly in front of the approaching Abt Audi. Unsafe release?

“That was close,” says Kelvin van der Linde, who says he had to brake. Why did race director Stoppe see no infringement? The rule stipulates that the cars must overlap when the vehicle is sent into the fast lane in order to justify a penalty. From the race director’s point of view, this was not the case



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