"I wanted to pass Heinz-Harald Frentzen, but he braked earlier than on the previous lap, and when I tried to avoid him I went onto the grass. Then I slid and touched his car. The drive-through penalty cost me two positions. It's a shame, because my car was good and my team deserved a better result," stated the Frenchman.
Allan McNish and Martin Tomczyk completed the top ten, while Rinaldo Capello, Mika Hakkinen, Frank Stippler and Alex Margaritis were the only other classified finishers, in eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteen respectively.
"I'm disappointed because starting fourth I had expected more," said Hakkinen, who lost out following an incident with Christian Abt on lap 14.
"After Christian had hit my car, something was wrong and I was not able to push anymore," he added.
Of the rest, six drivers were not classified - most noticeably pole sitter, Jamie Green, who had to retire on lap 29 from 12th due to brake problems, while DTM old-hand, Bernd Schneider also went out after a tyre failure.
"I started well and made up some places," explained Schneider. "My lap times showed that I had chances. Then I hit some parts on the track from the incident between Mika Häkkinen and Christian Abt and damaged my left rear tyre. That was it."
The DTM now heads to Turkey for the tenth and penultimate round of the season, which will take place on October 2.