Marko says van der Linde deserved a ban after Norisring DTM

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko feels Kelvin van der Linde should have received a ban for wrecking Liam Lawson’s DTM title hopes at the Norisring.

Marko says van der Linde deserved a ban after Norisring DTM

Although Lawson made a rapid start from pole position and covered the inside line for the first braking zone, van der Linde cut the corner in what he described as a risky attempt to take the lead, sideswiping the Ferrari at the apex.

This left Lawson with a heavily damaged car and paved the way for Maximilian Gotz win the title by three points - overcoming Lawson’s substantial 22-point lead in the championship.

Marko hit out at van der Linde for colliding with Lawson for three races in a row at the end of the season, and the Audi’s driver attempt at holding off Gotz that left him with a puncture and ultimately put him out of the running for points.

"That was a completely brainless manoeuvre by Kelvin van der Linde,” Marko told Autosport's sister site Motorsport-Total.com. “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."

Kelvin van der Linde, Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3

Kelvin van der Linde, Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Van der Linde was handed a five-second penalty for leaving the track at Turn 2 and rejoining the track in an unsafe manner. The stewards argued that a severe penalty wasn’t necessary as the collision that followed was not intentional.

Asked for his thoughts on the sanction, Marko 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."

Such was Lawson’s championship advantage that he could have clinched the title even without scoring points in the Norisring finale. However, that changed when Mercedes ordered both Lucas Auer and Philip Ellis to give up their positions, allowing Gotz - who was running third at that point - to bag the full 25 points for victory and with it the drivers’ crown.

Asked what he made of the title being decided by team orders, Marko added: "It was not a very glorious end to the season. That Mercedes then plays it so ostentatiously."

Read Also:

Berger: Aggression cost van der Linde the title

Abt Sportsline driver van der Linde went into the second half of the season as the favourite for the title, having held a 33-point lead over eventual champion Gotz after his third victory at the Nurburgring in August.

Lawson did manage to turn the tables when the Abt driver hit a difficult patch on Audi’s weak tracks, but van der Linde fought back with victory in the opening Hockenheim race to draw level with the Red Bull driver in the standings.

However, during the final three races of the season, van der Linde was responsible for three separate collisions with Lawson, before another incident with Gotz in the title decider finally ended his hopes of winning the championship.

Ten-time grand prix winner and DTM chief Gerhard Berger feels van der Linde’s aggressive attitude undid his good work in the first half of the season and ultimately led to him losing the championship to a more consistent Gotz.

“As I saw it, [Lawson] could do it [and win the title going into the final race],” Berger said. “He got a good start and was clear in the lead. He turned into the first corner and Kelvin came for whatever reason, driving into his car. Well, that's something you have to ask Kelvin and Liam [about] but Liam was in a good position [until then]. 

“I think at the end of the day with Kelvin his aggression in the last few races maybe cost him the championship because he was clearly in a good position to win this championship but the mistakes that were coming together were too many.”

shares
comments

Related video

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

Previous article

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

Next article

Van der Linde apologises to Lawson after Norisring DTM finale

Van der Linde apologises to Lawson after Norisring DTM finale
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020