DTM » 24 July 2006
Abt under fire from Green and Alesi.
Although Mercedes-Benz celebrated a stunning 1-2-3-4 finish at the Norisring, the fifth round of the DTM Championship, they still rued losing another six of their C-Class' over the period of the race.
Indeed, while Audi failed to match Mercedes' performance, they still locked out positions five down to thirteen, as their three-pointed star rivals succumbed to various mechanical or physical problems
However, for Jean Alesi and Jamie Green, there was only one person they were pointing the finger of blame too, with both claiming Christian Abt was the reason as to why they retired with broken rear-suspension.
For Green, retirement was a bitter disappointment, with the Brit having led the race from the start. However, when he came up to lap Abt, Green claims the German proceeded to hit him as he passed him and then again clip the back of his Salzgitter AMG Mercedes through the Esses.
Losing momenntum through the second half of the bend as a result of being tapped, Green slid wide and hit the wall, breaking the rear-suspension and having to concede what was likely to have been his maiden win.
“Christian Abt hit me a couple of times when I lapped him,” Green said. “On lap 24 he pushed me from behind entering the Esses and when I turned into the lefthander I lacked grip and hit the wall. Therefore, my right rear suspension was damaged. We were not able to repair it in the pits. I tried to resume but then the suspension broke and I retired.”
For Abt though, it was not the first time he had had a run in with a Mercedes after hitting the back of Jean Alesi on the first lap. Indeed, the Frenchman was aggrieved that his best qualifying position of the year was met by an early departure in the race.
“Qualifying fourth, it was a great weekend – until the race,” Alesi said. “I started well, although I lost one place to Mika. Then I was hit hard by Christian Abt and my rear suspension broke. This was the end of my race.”
Other incidents for Mercedes included a collision between Susie Stoddart and Daniel La Rosa [see separate story], while Alex Margaritis and Mathias Lauda also retired when in collision with other cars.
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