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Helmut Marko

Marko wants driver to be suspended: It was a completely mindless action

Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson lost the DTM title during a controversial season finale over the weekend, where he was hit by rival Kelvin van der Linde on the opening lap. Helmut Marko is furious about the events and has called for van der Linde to be banned.

Marko bahrein
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Helmut Marko has called for DTM driver Kelvin van der Linde to be suspended after an incident with Red Bull junior Liam Lawson at the season finale resulted in Lawson losing the title.

Lawson had been the favourite going into the final race at Norisring on Sunday, and started from pole position. However, van der Linde hit the 19-year-old on the opening lap whilst attempting an opportunistic move, resulting in Lawson sustaining severe suspension damage to his car.

Consequently, Lawson – racing for AF Corse Ferrari – dropped down the order, whilst Maximilian Gotz was able to claim the title after Mercedes employed team orders to allow Gotz to pass Lucas Auer.

Lawson and van der Linde had previously been involved in a similar incident at the same hairpin in Saturday's race. In regards to Sunday's collision, van der Linde received a five-second time penalty for cutting the corner ahead of the clash. The South African finished the event outside of the points after suffering a puncture whilst battling with Gotz for third place.

Following the race, Lawson voiced his anger over van der Linde's move and Marko is similarly furious, having called for him to receive a harsher punishment.

"If it was not intentional, then the race management is not qualified enough to take part in such a championship," Marko told Motorsport-Total.com. "There can't be such a misjudgement.

"That was a completely mindless action by Kelvin van der Linde – and it wasn't the first. He also drove into the rear of Liam at Hockenheim, and he later wanted to shoot down the Mercedes as well.

"For me, that is extremely unsporting behaviour, which in my opinion should be sanctioned accordingly."

Marko believes that such behaviour would not be tolerated in F1.

"Is there a penalty point system in the DTM?" the Austrian asked.

"A man like that should be banned. In Formula 1, he would automatically have so many points through a penalty point system that a ban would be imposed."

Lawson has labelled van der Linde the "dirtiest guy" he has ever raced against. Marko agrees with this: "He said that right."

Marko also took issue with Mercedes using team orders to enable Gotz to win the title, remarking: "It was not a very praiseworthy end to the season that Mercedes then played it so ostentatiously."

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