Margaritis, who at this point had been battling with the very person he had collided with in qualifying, Mucke, was almost losing control of his Mercedes coming out of the Arie Luyendijk corner, a moment traced to a problem with the left rear-wheel and the Greek driver being forced into retirement.
Promoting Ekstrom and Green into fifth and sixth, the recovering Brit was continuing to put pressure on the Swede for a spot in the top five, only to go up the inside at Tarzan and collide with his rival and send him bouncing across the gravel trap and well out of the points at the chequered flag.
Once again, the stewards took a dim view of his actions and gave him, like team-mate Hakkinen, a drive-through penalty, dropping him back to a rather unsatisfying eighth place at the finish.
Up at the front though, Kristensen was heading for a crucial victory, although he will have been dismayed to see it was Schneider tailing him across the finish line, the German finding his way past Tomczyk, who in turn recorded his second straight podium finish of the year.
Norisring and Nurburgring winner Bruno Spengler finished a lonely fourth to consolidate his third place in the championship, ahead of Frentzen, who in turn moves into sixth place in the standings.
Sixth place was Scheider's his best result of the season, the German coming home as the leading year-old competitor, while Mucke finished seventh in a similarly aged car. Green settled for eighth and the final point, but his already slim championship hopes are officially over.
Indeed, with rounds at Barcelona, Le Mans and Hockenheim remaining, only Schneider, who leads the standings by ten points, Kristensen and Spengler can mathematically win the championship now. It is all still to play for, but four-time champion Schneider's unfailing consistency is making him difficult to beat…