Tag Archives: Red Bull Ring

Valtteri Bottas was lucky to avoid a jump-start penalty in the Austrian Grand Prix

As this GIF shows, Bottas actually got going before the lights went out, but cars are allowed to move the tiniest amount before the start because they’ll often shake or jolt a little when the drivers select first gear. By pure luck, Valtteri’s early movement was within the tolerance allowed, which the stewards described as “fortuitous”.

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DTM: Audi has “started a big war” that could define the 2015 season

On the final lap of Sunday’s DTM race, Timo Scheider was racing with the two Mercedes of Pascal Wehrlein and Robert Wickens. Wehrlein was leading the championship at the time so worked together with Wickens to move ahead of Scheider’s Audi into 6th place. It was fairly standard racecraft but Audi’s response was not a sporting one. As Wehrlein got ahead they instructed Scheider to “push him off” (in German) and Timo duly obliged by punting both Mercedes drivers into the gravel at the very next corner. Amazing. It was a sly move that’s quite unusual at such a high professional level.

Audi’s boss, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, initially denied giving the instruction but later admitted it was a comment he made in the heat of the moment that wasn’t supposed to reach the driver. Scheider was disqualified from the race and Audi will face a separate hearing to determine if there should be any further sanctions. It was a serious professional foul.

There is plenty of bad blood between Audi and Mercedes so this controversy could rumble on for a while. In 2007 Audi withdrew all of their cars partway through a DTM race after their two championship contenders were taken out by Mercedes drivers. At the time, Audi’s bosses said “we had to get the impression that the Mercedes drivers used every opportunity to eliminate our cars. This is not the style in which we want to conduct motorsport” but now the boot is on the other foot and the Mercedes camp has made its displeasure well known. Pascal Wehrlein himself said that Audi “started a big war today” so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

The 2015 DTM championship fight has now become a little bitter and Sunday’s race might define the rest of the season.

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F4: Joey Mawson is a driver to watch in German Formula Four

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Mick Schumacher made an impressive start to his Formula Four career in April and with that famous surname he received plenty of attention. Schumacher won the reverse grid race at the first round and is comfortably the highest placed F4 rookie in the standings.

However, there is a lot of other talent in the German series and one of Schumacher’s biggest rivals will be his own teammate, Joey Mawson. In the first race at Oschersleben (where Schumacher moved from 19th to 9th) Mawson had to fight from 20th up to 6th after stalling on the grid. That’s a huge effort, and he backed it up in the reverse grid race by making progress to finish 2nd. He might’ve very well won the race himself had it not finished behind the Safety Car.

Mawson is consistently near the top of the timesheets and is looking to mount a serious championship challenge. He might not make as many headlines as Schumacher but that probably suits him well. It will be interesting to see how the teammates fare as the German F4 season continues this weekend at the Red Bull Ring.

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