26 August 2015
Ullrich banned, Scheider suspended over radio scandal
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich 'push him out' radio call to Timo Scheider results in the former being banned from the pit lane, while the latter is suspended for one race.
Audi Motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich has been banned from the pit-lane for the remainder of the 2015 DTM season and Timo Scheider suspended for one race as punishment for 'unsportsmanlike conduct' and 'damaging the reputation of motorsport'.
The trio were disputing sixth place in the closing stages of a sodden second DTM race of the weekend, when Scheider hit the back of Wickens' Mercedes into turn three. Wickens subsequently tagged team-mate Wehrlein ahead of him, with both drivers spinning off the circuit as Scheider continued on to finish in sixth. Mercedes F1 test driver Pascal Wehrlein had been leading the standings coming into the race.
However, of greater controversy was the revelation that Dr Ullrich had issued a radio call to Scheider moments before the collision, in which he said 'schieb ihn raus' ['push him out'].
Though Scheider went on to be excluded from the race, the DMSB governing body has imposed further 'tough' punishments to Audi, Ullrich and Scheider for their behaviour
Dr Ullrich bears the brunt of the stewards' inquiry and has subsequently been banned from the pit lane until the end of the season, while Audi itself has been fined 200,000EUR and beenstripped of the 62 constructors' points it achieved in that race, which now places it one point behind Mercedes-Benz.
In addition, Scheider has also been suspended for the next race at Moscow Raceway.
“The sports court of the DMSB (German Motor Sport Association) has investigated the incidents as part of the DTM race at Spielberg and condemns the parties for unsportsmanlike conduct. Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich is now banned until the end of the season in DTM events from entering the pit lane and having access to the team radio.
“Timo Scheider will receive a suspension of the DTM event in Moscow. In addition, the Audi brand will have its points in the second Spielberg race of 62 points in the DTM manufacturers' standings deleted. In addition, a fine of EUR 200,000 is imposed.
“The judges considered it proven that Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich has, in his capacity as Head of Audi Motorsport boss, sent via radio an invitation to Audi driver Timo Scheider to collide with another driver. Since such behavior damages the reputation of motorsport within the public massively, the punishment had to be correspondingly tough.”
The punishment is a huge career embarrassment for Dr Ullrich, who has otherwise forged a lofty reputation as the Head of Audi Motorsport by helming it to ongoing DTM success, not to mention its Le Mans 24 Hours wins.
The ruling did add, however, that Team Phoneix – whom Scheider races for – was deemed uninvolved and therefore escaped further punishment.
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