DTM manufacturers disagree over Audi's Tambay engine penalty

A Lausitzring grid penalty eventually served by Audi driver Adrien Tambay has caused angst among the DTM's three manufacturers

DTM manufacturers disagree over Audi's Tambay engine penalty

The engines used by Audi's Hockenheim race winners Jamie Green and Mattias Ekstrom sustained damage, which was detected during post-event inspections.

Manufacturers are allowed a pool of nine engines to use between their eight drivers during the season. While Green or Ekstrom could use the 'spare' ninth engine, one of the damaged two units had to be repaired and re-sealed for use at the Lausitzring.

The penalty for re-sealing an engine during the season is a rear-of-grid start for the driver who uses the unit in the next race.

Audi says the damage was external rather than a technical failure, and sought to avoid the penalty - as is permitted in the case of accidents.

However it was still imposed by Germany's governing body, the DMSB.

"There no engine problem, not a mechanical problem itself in the engine, but there was external damage due to contact with a kerb, probably," Audi's Dieter Gass told AUTOSPORT.

"We repaired the engines under supervision of the DMSB, which you can do, but you still have to break the seals and when you break the seals the next time you use this engine you start from the back, which we did."

With Green and Ekstrom equal-second in the standings after Hockenheim, a decision was made that Tambay would use the repaired engine and start the first Lausitzring race at the rear, on the account of not scoring a point during the season opener.

Audi was then frustrated that consultation with BMW and Mercedes did not lead to support in its bid to avoid a penalty, noting that the latter was granted permission to rehomologate its struggling car during the 2014 season.

"Our point of view was that basically what we want to do with this engine limitation is that nobody increases output by reducing engine life," Gass said.

"Personally, I don't understand it [the lack of support]. In DTM we often try to help each other. We have seen that in the past, and I recall several occasions.

"It's a shame we did not find a compromise. Even more because we did not gain anything by repairing our engines."

Mercedes confirms discussions took place, but elected to stick to the letter of the law.

"The regulations say that in the case of an accident, you are potentially allowed to change the engines without a penalty, but from our side we couldn't see an accident there," its DTM chief Ulrich Fritz told AUTOSPORT.

"I think if there is no accident, or nothing that is described in the rules, I think we should stick to the rules and the regulations.

"That is our position and I think BMW had the same position."

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