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Lawson won’t cut back on aggression after Nurburgring DTM crashes

Lawson won’t cut back on aggression after Nurburgring DTM crashes

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Having had his race compromised by a puncture after his first pitstop, Lawson was trying to claw back lost positions at the second safety car restart when he tried to pass championship leader Kelvin van der Linde on the run down to the final chicane.

But the two drivers came to blows under braking, sending van der Linde into the path of his teammate Mike Rockenfeller and forcing both Arjun Maini and Esteban Muth to take evasive action.

Both Abt Sportsline drivers retired from the race soon after due to the damage, while Lawson himself peeled into the pits later after being hit with a drive-through penalty for the incident.

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Rockenfeller blasted the Kiwi in the immediate aftermath of the crash, saying “I don’t know what he was smoking” in an interview broadcast live on TV during the race, while van der Linde also expressed his frustration at the move that caused his first DNF of the season. 

However, AF Corse driver Lawson feels van der Linde was also partly to blame for the incident and has cleared the air with the South African.

Asked if he would be less aggressive on track following his collision with the Abt duo at the Nurburgring, Lawson said: “No, I would not change the way I drive. 

“The crash on Sunday, I’ve reviewed it. I’ve spoken to the Abt drivers, I at least spoke to Kelvin after the race because we all understand that these things happen on track and it’s important to not let it disturb everything off track. Holding things against people is not really necessary. 

“So the crash itself we looked at it and honestly from the point I committed to going for the pass there was nothing I could. 

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“I got turned. Before we even got to the corner, in a straight line he was turning into me under braking and he pushed me in the grass, which is why I couldn’t stop so well. 

“But it’s something that is now in the past and it’s something we are all ready to move on from this and focus on this weekend.”

 

Earlier in the weekend, Lawson was unlucky to be pitched into a spin by Audi’s Markus Winkelhock, who was substituting for another Abt driver Sophia Floersch in his first DTM start since 2010.

The 19-year-could recover to only 13th at the finish and would later on lose more ground to van der Linde in the title fight following his collision with the Audi driver in Race 2.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s fifth round at the Red Bull Ring, Lawson revealed that he had a “heated discussion” with Winkelhock in parc ferme, having been “very very upset” with the three-time Nurburgring 24 Hours winner for “ruining” his race.

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“We went into Turn 2 and that’s not a corner that you’d go to overtake somebody,” he said.
There’s no real opportunity to get your car down the inside. So it was really unexpected for me. 

“He basically hit the kerb and [then] hit my car and spun me around. This basically ruined our race. 

“I was obviously very very upset that a guy who is a fill-in for the weekend [and] isn’t scoring points for his own championship has taken out a contender from the other team. 

“I was getting out of the car and Markus was next to me, and he came to me and basically we had a discussion and I was pretty upset. But I feel like sometimes when these things happen after a race like this it’s pretty normal to have these heated discussions. 

“I didn’t say anything offensive or anything like that so it wasn’t meant to offend Markus or anything.”

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