Audi Team Abt's Mattias Ekstrom has issued an apology to Christian Vietoris after taking the German, along with his Mercedes team mate Robert Wickens, out of the first Norisring DTM race.

The former double champion had been looking to make amends by reclaiming the second place he had lost to Wickens on the eighth lap of the race.

But instead of dispatching the then championship leader, Ekstrom ploughed into the side of the race leader Vietoris having already made minor contact with Wickens at the Grundig hairpin.

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Vietoris recovered from the spin to finish the race in tenth but the incident marked the end of the afternoon for both Wickens and Ekstrom.

"I feel incredibly sorry for Christian," said Ekstr?m. "He was totally faultless in getting entangled in the tussle between me and Wickens."

While Dieter Gass conceded he would rather have celebrated Audi's first win at the Norisring since 2002 in a slightly different manner, the Audi DTM boss defended his driver over the incident.

"That Mattias (Ekstr?m) wouldn't do anything like that on purpose should be clear to anyone," said Gass. "We'd have preferred to celebrate our first Norisring victory since 2002 in a slightly different way. But 'that's racing'.

"The collision between Wickens and Ekstr?m was a racing accident of the kind that frequently happens at the Norisring. Eki has often thrilled us with his overtaking maneuvers. This time, it went wrong, which wasn't his fault alone.

"We wouldn't even be discussing it at all if it hadn't affected a third driver, Christian Vietoris, who was not involved in the manoeuvre."