Better late than never, one might say. A few days after Sunday’s crime at Norisring, Kelvin Van Der Linde entrusted his thoughts and apologies for Liam Lawson to social media.
As now well known, the South African both in Race 1 and in Race 2 of the DTM was the protagonist of controversial episodes against the Red Bull-AF Corse boy, especially for the rotation that in the second round knocked out his Ferrari denying him the title .
In the post-race all kinds of events happened, fortunately only in words, with all the insiders and fans outraged by the behavior of the Audi Sport Team ABT Sportsline standard bearer, among other things he showed himself rather snooty and mocking talking about the happened.
Evidently to the Four Rings, and elsewhere, someone must have pointed out the more than obvious faults, with Van Der Linde then publicly and personally apologizing to Lawson.
“After Sunday’s race, I decided to log into my social networks again to reflect on what happened. Right now I wanted to make sure I can speak to a specific person to apologize. I’m talking about Liam, whom I heard last night.” , wrote Van Der Linde.
“We discussed what happened and I asked him to forgive him for the move that cost him the title, but also for my position with the press after the race. The adrenaline was still high, but they put the microphone on me. in front of the face as soon as I got out of the car, without yet having seen the episode on TV. I admit that I have not handled the situation well and I am not proud of it “.
“From a sporting point of view, everyone can think as they see fit. We, as drivers, have to make decisions in fractions of a second, they are not always the right ones and sometimes they can have serious consequences”.
“But the insults I received on social media in the last week have left a bad taste in my mouth and it will take time for them to pass. The only thing I can say is: you don’t know me as a person, nor my family, and you can’t understand how it feels in my shoes “.
“Sport is sport, but don’t forget that there are human beings behind it, for whom I myself do not wish the worst. I will be back next year trying to do things in a better way”.
Liam Lawson, AF Corse at parc ferme
Photo by: Alexander Trienitz
Taking note of all this, there is still someone who has not yet gone down the epilogue of the 2021 season of the German series, at the first of the new era with GT3s.
We are talking about Helmuto Marko, who as a representative of Red Bull was not at all happy with how this year’s investments in his young protégé went up in smoke.
“Kelvin Van Der Linde made a totally decerebrated move, and it is not the first time because he had already hit Liam at Hockenheim. By the way, he later did the same with a Mercedes. Personally I think he deserves a suspension!” Milton Keynes consultant told Motorsport.com.
“Is there a penalty system in the DTM? In F1 you would automatically lose points on the license, I believe that here too it should be done the same “.
One thing that no one liked was the choice of the race direction to deliver only 5 “penalty to” VDL “, but not for having caused the contact, but for ‘having returned to the track in an unsafe manner’, after having cut in full the first corner, having arrived at insane speed.
“They did not consider the rotation intentional, but if it were, then even the race director would not be qualified to fill this role in the championship. This is not the way to judge such an episode”.
Marko’s ‘little theater’ of Mercedes also remained on his stomach, with Team Winward slowing down Lucas Auer and Philip Ellis to be overtaken by Maximilian Götz (Team HRT) and allow him to win the title.
“It wasn’t a glorious end to the season and Mercedes made a move with total brazenness.”
Finally, Gerhard Berger, who in the position of head of the promoter ITR was decidedly ‘circlebottist’ in analyzing what happened, did not expose himself and decomposed too much.
“The way I see it, Lawson could have won the title, he started very well and was in the lead, then at the first corner came Kelvin, who for some reason ran into him. You should ask them how they think, then it is clear that up to that point Liam was in better shape, “says the Austrian.
“I think in the end Kelvin paid badly for his aggression shown in the last few races, which cost him the title. Before, he was in a position to win, but when you make too many mistakes, it all goes away. “