Drivers not to blame for Hungary pit chaos, say rivals
Lucas Auer, Edoardo Mortara and Bruno Spengler, the three drivers involved in pitlane incidents in the Sunday DTM race at the Hungaroring, should not have been blamed for what happened, say their rivals.
Mercedes driver Auer hit three marshals, Spengler collected some BMW mechanics, and Mortara knocked over his Mercedes pit gantry when heavy rain severely reduced the grip of the concrete pit boxes.
Despite several drivers criticising the conditions of what Loic Duval called "the most slippery pitlane I have ever had", all three drivers were excluded from the results after the race.
But race winner Marco Wittmann believes that none of the drivers should be blamed for what happened.
“It was super slippery in the pitlane,” said BMW’s two-time champion, “and me as well, I nearly crashed into my guys. There is no blame on anybody for what happened.”
BMW’s third-placed finisher Philipp Eng added: “No miscredit to any of the drivers – it’s so difficult to judge.
"I was going in very slowly and it was very slippery. It was quite dangerous. I think I was going in with 20 km/h and still felt I was sliding a lot so that was not funny."
DTM issued a statement, explaining why the three drivers were disqualified.
It said that the drivers "have to do everything to avoid danger", and the regulations dictate every competitor to "reduce his speed to an extent that he is able to stop his car."
"All the three violated a very clearly formulated paragraph of the DTM’s sporting regulations: ‘From entering the working lane, a driver has to reduce his speed to an extent that he is able to stop his car at his garage without endangering other competitors or the marshals.’
"In other words: the driver has to do everything to avoid any danger. Should he make an accident, nevertheless, he was too fast and is penalised.
"That’s very similar to what happens in the day-to-day traffic: if you cause a rear-end collision you will be penalised by the police for inadequate [inappropriate] speed.
"The reasoning ‘I wasn’t too fast’, doesn’t count as you quite obviously were too fast and didn’t brake hard enough for avoiding the accident."
Against the observation that none of the drivers were speeding in the pits, the DTM continued: "A road-traffic example illustrates the problem.
"In the German cities, 50km/h is compulsory but this can be far too fast for braking on wet cobble stones and may result in an accident.
"In this case, neither the city that laid the cobble-stone pavement nor the police that didn’t block the road in wet conditions are responsible – but the driver who was too fast for the weather conditions."
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