Several marshals and mechanics were injured in separate incidents in the second race of the DTM weekend at Hungaroring on Sunday. The race started under light rain which later turned into a downpour forcing drivers to dive into the pits for a tyre change.
With the pit boxes slippery due to the wet conditions, Mercedes Lucas Auer and Edoardo Mortara and BMW’s Bruno Spengler were involved in separate accidents when they ran off their pit boxes to hit the pit buildings, injuring marshals and mechanics stood there.
The race was red-flagged due to the hits as the injured were taken to the nearby hospital. During the race stoppage, the organisers released a statement: “An injured marshal has severe leg injuries. Two further people have medium-level injuries.
“None of the injured people is in critical condition, they are all being transported to hospital.” The Mercedes DTM outfit quickly tweeted that none of its mechanics were severely injured but the marshal hit by Auer’s car was among the severe hit.
The race was eventually won by Maro Wittmann who led a BMW 1-2-3 with Timo Glock in second and Philipp Eng third. Spengler finished seventh with Auer in ninth and Mortara 10th, but all the three drivers were disqualified from the race.
Referring to Article 30.9, the statement stated: “The driver must reduce speed as soon as he joins the deceleration zone so that he can stop his car at the pits without endangering other participants or the marshals.”
In addition, both Mortara and Spengler have a suspended 10-place grid penalty for the next two rounds since they crashed even after being warned on the radio of slippering conditions and the waved yellow flags in the pitlane.
Post-race Auer said: “After the incident at the pit stop, sadly, my heart wasn’t in the race anymore. Sure, I still finished, but all I wanted to know was how the two race marshals are doing. I didn’t care about anything else.
“There are two different types of surface in the pitlane, and I was already coming in as slowly as possible. But I couldn’t steer anymore, so I just slid straight ahead into the collision. At that moment, I was only a passenger in the car. This kind of thing cannot be allowed to happen again.”
Mortara added: “As soon as I touched the brake pedal ever so lightly, the wheels locked up and I just drove straight towards the mechanics and the pit equipment. After an incident of this kind, the race result today is of absolutely no consequence.
“I’m just glad that nothing happened to any of my mechanics in this incident, and I am very sorry that things didn’t work out so well for the marshal with a broken leg. I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Spengler commented: “First of all, I would like to apologise to my mechanic. Although I was already driving much slower than usual, the wheels locked. As a result, I could not avoid hitting him. I am very sorry. Fortunately, nothing serious happened.
“We should probably have come in a lap earlier and switched to wet-weather tyres. Maybe the pit lane would have been drier then too. However, it is not easy in those chaotic situations. After Saturday’s result, it was important for BMW to score heavily today.”