Craig Baird a former Supercars driver and the current driving standards observer for the series weighed in on the final DTM round and what he would have done.
The final championship weekend at Norisring received significant attention after a string of controversial incidents through the weekend, that had a hand in deciding the championship
Baird joined Greg Murphy and Stephen McIvor on their Race Control Podcast to share his thoughts.
While the first race of the weekend didn’t get off to the best start for Liam Lawson, Baird acknowledged that there was a gap there for Kelvin van der Linde.
“Kelvin had a dive bomb but there was a hole there to dive-bomb into,” Baird said
“He out braked himself so at the end of the day he didn’t make the corner, but he didn’t really cause any drama either. So it was sort of a play-on on the Saturday”
Baird went on to share his thoughts on the incident in the final race.
“I thought it was a disgraceful move for van der Linde. The move was never on, you take the championship leader out, you take the race leader out, you take his teammate out, and somebody [then] sends through a 5-second penalty.
“I thought they will just hand him at least a drive-through and be referred to the stewards afterwards. That’s what I would have done.
“They’re fairly lenient in DTM driving standards wise,” Baird added
He also noted that the incident has somewhat overshadowed the impressive season Lawson had, especially as a rookie in the series.
Though it wasn’t how fans wanted to see the championship decided Baird explained how it could have a positive impact on Lawson in the bigger picture.
“I wouldn’t say the seasons a disaster because I think it’s actually morally and mentally it’s building to where he needs to be for the future. I’m not saying you have to go through the lows but getting smashed that hard will make him mentally a stronger sportsman.
The incident with van der Linde wasn’t the only one that troubled Baird, the apparent team orders within the Mercedes teams were also an issue.
“The [Maximilian] Gotz thing for me left a really sour taste in my mouth because I haven’t been through their rule book like I do the Supercars rule book but I believe that there’s a rule in there about no team orders.
“If you’ve got a rule there you’ve got to police it, so they should have been excluded from the race in my opinion, Mercedes as the manufacturer because they went outside the rule book.”
Main image: Erebus Motorsport