After the action of the seventh DTM Series weekend of 2017 at the Nurburgring, we look back at some of the talking points from the weekend.
Audi Tactics Called into Question Again
Timo Glock has hit out at Audi after his coming together with Nico Muller in the second race. Prior to the collision, Glock has said over the radio he felt he had been brake tested by Muller – only to end up in the rear of the Audi-man’s car just a few laps later.
This is not the first time the manufacturer has been criticised, with Muller being singled out on other occassions.
The Swiss driver was accused of holding back a group of drivers that pitted early at the Moscow Raceway, then at Zandvoort played the rear gunner to help Mattias Ekström hang on to claim a podium despite suffering from a deflating tyre.
Sunday’s race winner Robert Wickens also joined in with the criticism, telling Autosport.com.
“The Audi guys were trying to be clever, it was pretty obvious what they were trying to do.
“I thought it was maybe a little bit over the limit because they were clearly brake-testing me at corner apexes and not accelerating out of corners.
“It’s not really fair racing, but it is what it is.
“In the end there was no contact, so you cannot blame anyone.”
Ekström Leads the Championship
Audi’s super-Swede Ekström finds himself still holding the lead of the championship by nine points over Lucas Auer despite having not yet won a race this season compared to three of the Mercedes driver.
The Audi driver has scored points on 11 occassions, five of which being podium paying positions.
With four races to go Ekström will be keen to get a victory under his belt, but his incredible run highlights his remarkable consistency.
As the teams headed to the Nurburgring, Audi were 25 kg heavier than their lightest rival BMW with calculations estimating they would be half a second slower over one lap. In the dry qualifying on Sunday morning Jamie Green was the lead Audi – 0.550 seconds off the pace set by Marco Wittmann.
However, it has been revealed that the teams met at Zandvoort to discuss the dropping of the performance weights with immediate effect but Audi vetoed the decision.
For a mid-season rule change to come into place it requires unanimous approval from the teams and therefore was not implemented, meaning the ballast system which is awarded based on a complex formula of average lap times remains.
Series chief Gerhard Berger has said the removal of the system is one of the changes he wishes to make as the series moves forward.
Berger, told Motorsport.com: “The main task was to answer the question of how we should eliminate the success-dependent regulations – that is the performance weights – without having to open the regulations for expensive aero developments as a consequence.
“Therefore, one of the two variants was preferred. Certain areas of the vehicle, which are currently open for further development, should get standardised.
“We have to avoid a costly development race in such areas that are completely irrelevant for the DTM fans.
“The proposal was discussed in the meeting of the DTM Commission on Thursday before the Zandvoort weekend, with the DMSB, ADAC, ITR and two manufacturers supporting the immediate elimination of the performance weights in conjunction with the additional requirements.
“One manufacturer was against.”
Audi have said they are for the abolition of the performance weights as long as it is to be done heading into 2018 rather than a hasty mid-season decision.
The DTM Series returns at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on 22-24 September for the penultimate round.