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Norisring: Mercedes: Ekstrom move 'totally unnecessary'

Ulrich Fritz: After Spielberg, he [Ekstrom] complained about various other drivers, calling them 'clowns'. Today, he earned himself a red nose of his own.
Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz has labelled Mattias Ekstrom's race one actions as 'totally unnecessary' following the dramatic events which unfolded during the first Norisring race.

Christian Vietoris and Robert Wickens were the leading the race for Mercedes until Ekstrom - whilst attempting to repass Wickens for second - collected the pair at the Grundig hairpin.

As the Audi driver looked to move alongside Wickens deeper into the braking zone, Ekstrom made small contact with the Canadian. That appeared to unsettle Ekstrom's RS 5 which resulted in the former double champion clattering into side of Vietoris.

Edoardo Mortara went on to win the race for Audi, thus breaking Mercedes' colossus winning streak at the Norisring street circuit.

“I think we saw a nice clean race at the start. Then came that move by Ekström, in which he totally unnecessarily took out the two Mercedes placed first and second. What's more, with Rob still leading the championship," said Fritz.

"I don't believe that sort of thing has any place in fair racing, and I'm also sure that the fans don't want to see it either. After Spielberg, he complained about various other drivers, calling them 'clowns'. Today, he earned himself a red nose of his own.

"We were on our way to wrapping up another victory at the Norisring. Now all we've got from it is a third place and the loss of many points in the title battle.”

Speaking of the incident, Wickens - who retired on the spot - felt Ekstrom braked far too late heading into the infamous hairpin.

"Everything was okay before Mattias Ekström's attack. We were well placed in the Top Three. I saved my DRS and then Ekström braked far too late and crashed into Christian and me. That's what happened," said Wickens.

Vietoris did manage to continue in tenth but understandably felt little consolation by claiming a solitary point.

"Everyone in our team is working really hard and doing everything we can to race and fight for wins. And then to simply lose everything we've earned through our hard work as a result of Ekström's actions is not right as far as I'm concerned," Vietoris continued.

"A win or at least a podium would have been possible today. I'm now left with nothing. Excuses don't help matters either."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Christian Vietoris - Mercedes-AMG Team Mucke [pic credit DTM]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit DTM]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Paul di Resta - Mercedes-AMG DTM Team HWA  [pic credit Mercedes]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Marco Wittmann - BMW Team RMG [pic credit BMW]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Edoardo Mortara - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Antonio Felix da Costa - BMW Team Schnitzer [pic credit BMW]
Antonio Felix da Costa - BMW Team Schnitzer [pic credit BMW]
Nico Muller - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Nico Muller - Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline [pic credit Audi Sport]
Timo Scheider - Audi Sport Team Phoenix [pic credit Audi]

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