Helmut Marko, head of Red Bull’s driver development program, has shared his opinion on the DTM season finale at Norisring.
Marko can be controversial at times and often splits fans opinions when delving into an issue. His outlook on this incident did not change in that sense.
After watching the finale at Norisring and witnessing the first lap crash between Liam Lawson and Kelvin van der Linde, Marko explained he believes if this were to occur in a different series van der Linde would be handed[and deserved in his opinion] a race ban or to be banned outright.
The Austrian further explained: “That was a completely brainless manoeuvre by Kelvin van der Linde and it wasn’t the first. He also hit the back of Liam at Hockenheim. I watched the replay and he was going to take out the Mercedes later as well. Such a man should be banned.”
“Is there a penalty point system in the DTM? Because with his whole season and above all: attacking the Mercedes afterwards, when he actually has hardly any chances left. For me, that is extremely unsportsmanlike conduct, which in my opinion should be sanctioned accordingly.
“He should be banned. And in Formula 1 he would automatically have so many points through a penalty point system that a ban would be imposed.”
Post crash, the South African ABT Sportsline driver was handed a 5 second time penalty for “re-entering the track in an unsafe manner”. The penalty was deemed too soft by fans across social media after the race.
In relation to the event Liam’s car was virtually ruined and his hopes at scoring points were crushed. Further into the race van der Linde also fell short during his plight towards victory when his Audi suffered a puncture.
When Marko was asked about his feelings surrounding the given penalty he said: “If it wasn’t intentional, then the race director is not qualified enough to take part in such a championship. Because there can’t be such a misjudgement.”
Regarding the later moments of the race, some blatantly overt team orders were put in place by Mercedes that also had fans in a spin. Max Gotz was let through from third place into the lead by Auer and Ellis who were running in first and second.
Auer lead by 12 seconds at the point he slowed down to which fans described as totally unsportsmanlike and not a true way to win a championship.
In his interview Marko added: “It was not a very glorious end to the season. That Mercedes then plays it so ostentatiously.”
Whether or not his opinion is agreeable or not, it is a positive sign to see Helmut backing Lawson and watching his future development. The relationship could be key for the young Kiwi’s climbing of the ranks in coming seasons.
Featured image source: twitter.com/liamlawson30
All quotes from Interview source: motorsport.com