Wehrlein says Audi started DTM 'war' with Scheider at Red Bull Ring

Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein says Audi's Timo Scheider started a DTM "war", with the controversial finish to Sunday's Red Bull Ring race

Wehrlein says Audi started DTM 'war' with Scheider at Red Bull Ring

The Mercedes Formula 1 reserve's stablemate Robert Wickens was defending sixth from Scheider, and when the latter looked around the outside at Turn 2 on the final lap, Wehrlein was able to pass both drivers on the inside exiting the corner.

VIDEO: SCHEIDER HITS MERCEDES PAIR

Wehrlein edged ahead of Wickens, who pulled in behind, and on the approach to Turn 3, Scheider received the radio call "schieb ihn raus" in German - translating to "push him out" in English - which was broadcast on live television.

Scheider says he did not hear the call.

"I got the confirmation that there was a call after the race, when I checked the video, so I did not hear any comment while driving," he said.

RACE REPORT: Audi's Mattias Ekstrom beats Gary Paffett in wet

However, going into the braking area, Scheider did make contact with the rear of Wickens' C-Coupe, pushing it into Wehrlein's and sending both drivers into the gravel trap.

While Scheider crossed the line in sixth place, the incident is under investigation, and Wehrlein was fuming post-race.

"The last lap was very obvious," Wehrlein told AUTOSPORT.

"I overtook Scheider and Wickens without touching them. So it was a fair fight, until Turn 3, when I got a big hit from behind.

"Already when I jumped out of my car, my engineer told me that it was on purpose from Scheider, so it wasn't Robert.

"Now we've had a look at the replay and he got the radio call 'push them out', and that's so obvious.

"If Audi has to win a championship like this, I would say they've started a big war today.

"I hope they will have big consequences, I hope everyone is writing about this situation, what Audi was starting and I hope that no one is buying an Audi next week."

The move capped a day in which Wehrlein relinquished the championship lead, 24 hours after taking it with second place in Saturday's race.

Mercedes as a group was livid, while Audi alluded to tactics in Wickens trying to slow Scheider so Wehrlein could pass him.

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS SAID...

TIMO SCHEIDER

"Until the last lap and up to Turn 2 it was a clean fight and it was tough, with some elbows. And then towards Turn 3, Robert tried to cover Pascal quite a bit down to the braking area.

"I did what I did the laps before, braking at my point, I touched Robert slightly, which was for sure unlucky and in the end he hit Pascal and both went off.

"It's a bad situation, especially to send the championship leader into the gravel trap is bad, no question of that.

"I'm really sorry about this, but in the end of the day this is racing and when you see how many cars went off down there in the race without anything, I think you can imagine how difficult it is down there be a bit late on the brake.

"But after checking my data, I can say I was just spot on with the braking point."

ROBERT WICKENS

"Starting the last lap I saw Scheider was close behind me, so I made sure that I didn't miss any braking zones, because it was really slippery.

"Of course you're going to defend the inside, so going into Turn 2, I defended very well, braked maybe a bit conservatively to make sure that I made the corner.

"Timo went to the outside of me, and Pascal got a good run on the inside, was able to overtake the two of us and going down into Turn 3, Timo just ran into the back of me and took me and Pascal out of the race.

"Apparently on the TV he had orders to take us out, whether it happened or not I don't know because I haven't seen the race yet, but if that's the case in my opinion it's not fair."

WOLFGANG ULLRICH - HEAD OF AUDI MOTORSPORT

"This situation for sure was not so nice, because it was clear what game wanted to be played with Timo and I have to say it was really emotional and I was not happy about what happened.

"If it is going to be played hard, then we have some racing like this, I'm not happy about these things that happened.

"But it came out of things that just came together."

ULRICH FRITZ - MERCEDES DTM BOSS

"Of course it was disappointing, that two of our cars in quite good positions were just taken out of the race.

"That is the one thing, what we saw before was definitely a hard fight for positions, but as far as I can see it was fair.

"What happened after that for me is not fair, it was clearly on purpose, we all heard the radio comment, of somebody at Audi telling Timo to push the guy in front of him off.

"So I think that is not what we want to see in the DTM and I would say what we are more disappointed by."

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