Gary Paffett 'disappointed' at 2016 DTM driving standards

Former DTM champion Gary Paffett has been surprised by the driving standards in the opening two race weekends of the 2016 season

Gary Paffett 'disappointed' at 2016 DTM driving standards

The Hockenheim and Red Bull Ring events have featured plenty of on-track incidents between drivers, with several disagreements boiling over onto social media in the days following the races.

"The first two race weekends of the season are always pretty intense, and there's a lot of contact and things going on," said Paffett.

"I have nothing against young drivers or rookies - I was generally surprised by the level of driving and also disappointed."

The interaction on social media, which went as far as the Audi Sport account posting a video of Antonio Felix da Costa's BMW hitting Audi driver Edoardo Mortara before the latter retaliated, has varied between being serious and tongue in cheek.

Mercedes driver Daniel Juncadella jokingly suggested the drivers would need a cage-fighting arena to settle their differences, and Paffett added that a destruction derby could be required.

The 2005 champion believes the fact drivers are having discussions in the public eye is a positive move.

"This year, drivers are maybe a little more vocal about it in the public domain," he said.

"It's only fair to our fans and the public to let them know what's going on, what we're feeling.

"Motorsport has changed, and fans have a lot more contact with the drivers. So, we should do our bit and share our emotions with them."

Paffett was unhappy with the driving of two-time champion Timo Scheider in Austria, and after they exchanged words in parc ferme post-race the discussion continued on Twitter.

"It's not as if we're hiding away from each other and talking behind each other's backs," Paffett said.

"I spoke face to face with Timo directly after the race in Spielberg.

"We were communicating our feelings more openly."

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Antonio Felix da Costa hits out at Edoardo Mortara after DTM clash
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