RACING

Mueller slams ‘ridiculous’ driving standards in Race 1 – Sportscar365

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Photo: DTM

Nico Mueller has strongly criticized the driving standards of his fellow DTM drivers after Saturday’s frantic race at Norisring saw just 11 out of 27 cars make it to the finish after various incidents.

Mueller was one of many drivers eliminated on the opening lap, when contact between Franck Perera and Arjun Maini at turn one set off a chain reaction that led to multiple collisions.

The first lap scrum was just the first of a number of incidents throughout the race, which featured three safety car appearances and an additional yellow course.

The latter was triggered by a heavy collision between Perera and Esteban Muth, triggered by earlier contact between Perera and his GRT Grasser Racing Team teammate Alessio Deledda.

Mueller later strongly criticized the standards of conduct of his fellow competitors, calling them “an absolute jungle”.

“At the moment the driving standards we see there are just ridiculous,” Mueller said during the official DTM broadcast.

“Everyone should know by now that you don’t win the race at the first corner, but it looks like it’s happening again.

“Every time they see the lights go out, they all go crazy. The brains go out, I guess.

” I do not know what to say. It’s very frustrating, the car is completely damaged all around after a good start, in the middle of the first corner it spun in front of me and I was completely pushed into a mess.

“An absolute jungle and it seems to continue like that. Not quite the show that the fans who came here in droves deserve, I think.

“Normally it’s not bumper cars, it’s motor racing, but today we unfortunately proved otherwise.”

Rene Rast, who finished the race third behind Thomas Preining and Dennis Olsen, suggested that the ABS system present in the GT3 cars currently racing in the DTM could be a factor in the high number of collisions, as it leads the drivers to potentially take greater risks.

“I think the cause is probably the ABS system,” said Rast, who himself was involved in a late-race collision with Olsen at turn seven.

“Basically we jump on the brake pedal as hard as we can and hope the car decelerates.

“Someone tries a little later, someone a little earlier, but in the end most of us are on the edge.

“Someone is getting the situation wrong, and that’s why we’re probably seeing these crashes.

“Without ABS everyone would be much more careful because if you have a blockage it ruins your whole race.

“So ABS, especially at the Norisring, is the cause of a lot of these crashes.”

Schneider: drivers should be ‘severely punished’

Five-time DTM champion Bernd Schneider, who was present at Nuremberg, said the drivers involved in the many incidents should receive tough penalties for them as he says it is the only way to “restore respect”.

Schneider, who himself has won several Norisring victories throughout his long DTM career, called on race control to meet the standards of conduct displayed in the weekend’s opening race, saying that ” that’s not what people like to see.”

“The Norisring is always a very special race and a lot can happen, but I thought the drivers [should have] a little more respect, especially in the first race,” Schneider said during the official broadcast on Saturday.

“Because there’s another race tomorrow and if you see how many cars have retired with serious crashes, that’s not what people like to see.

“I guess the race director needs to talk to them. I like action and I like light contact and that’s also why people are there, but this aggression, just bumping into each other, that’s not racing.

“They should be punished severely, because that’s the only way to get respect back. I don’t know how many cars we’ll see on the grid tomorrow, because there’s been a lot of damage.



Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 journalist based in the Netherlands, covering the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.


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