Audi accuses Mercedes of breaking DTM team orders pact

Audi has accused Mercedes of breaking an agreement between DTM manufacturers in orchestrating team orders to aid Pascal Wehrlein's championship bid during Sunday's Nurburgring race

Audi accuses Mercedes of breaking DTM team orders pact

With a slow pitstop, Wehrlein lost places to stablemates Maximilian Gotz and Daniel Juncadella and BMW's Augusto Farfus, dropping from fifth to eighth in the effective order.

Wehrlein was able to repass Farfus, but came under attack from Audi's Mike Rockenfeller, who was the last driver to pit and emerged between the pair.

RACE REPORT: Miguel Molina wins, Pascal Wehrlein close to title

Without DRS, Wehrlein was unable to pull away from the 2013 champion, and Mercedes called on Juncadella and then Gotz to slow and then run between the pair as a buffer.

In finishing fifth, Wehrlein holds an almost-unassailable 37-point advantage with one round remaining.

It incensed Audi DTM boss Dieter Gass, who said the manufacturers had agreed only one day earlier to stick to "proper motor racing" on the run home.

"We did have an agreement from [Saturday] with all three manufacturers that we would basically do some sport and would not do certain things," Gass told AUTOSPORT.

"We had two manufacturers keeping up to the agreement, one didn't and it's the one that seems to be going away and winning and that's a bit worrying.

"We have seen gaps of eight seconds between two Mercedes cars which melted down in very few laps and all of a sudden they can go back to normal speed, so I doubt that this was a technical problem or tyre trouble.

"It was done on purpose. I don't think the spectator wants to see that, I don't think it's very sporty."

Gass said the pact was formulated during ongoing discussions between the manufacturers.

"We are trying to improve the product in the DTM and there is room for improvement," he said.

"We have very good cars, we have very professional teams, professional drivers, but the show that we see could be better.

"One of the things we agreed is basically to avoid, or stop, manufacturers playing around with their drivers, and going back to proper motor racing, and may the best one win.

"There will be discussions [about the move], for sure.

"Obviously I have gone public with what I think, because I was really very annoyed, but if you make a new agreement today, I'm wondering how I could trust this next weekend."

MERCEDES STANDS ITS GROUND

Gass and Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz were involved in a terse exchange during the post-race press conference, with the latter not backing down.

"Yes, we had an agreement on what we want to do and not want to do," Fritz told AUTOSPORT.

"For example, we said we want to avoid cars on track that haven't already pitted slowing down other cars. That is something we didn't see today.

"Yeah, we saw strategic changes between Pascal and Maxi and Dani. That is clear, but we are fighting as a team.

"We want to win as a team and we will lose as a team so this is a team effort and if we can win the championship then we need to go for that."

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