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DTM Shanghai 2010: Was the street circuit in Pudong safe enough?

DTM analysis Shanghai 2010
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Why was the start behind the safety car?

V Before the start, the nervousness of those responsible was clearly noticeable. After four accidents during qualification training, including Timo Scheider's extremely violent kiss on the wall and the rather serious crash of Mercedes driver Maro Engel in Friday training, the nerves of the men of the DMSB and ITR were pretty bare. Because the tight, no-forgiving street circuit in Pudong pretty much fulfilled all the requirements for a chaos race.

So all kinds of measures were taken to defuse the situation. The drivers were urged very insistently to go to work a little more cautiously than usual. And because the standing start, which is customary in the DTM, is dangerous, it was decided to use another variant, the flying start. However, not in the way that was usual in the World Touring Car Championship and in the DTM until 1996, in such a way that the cars are sorted in pairs. Rather, they started in single file formation, i.e. in single file. And there was also a strict no-overtaking ban on the first three corners.

The measures took effect: there were no accidents in the race. Not only the cost center managers of the manufacturers were pleased, but also the long-suffering mechanics. In particular, the mechanics of the Mücke-Mercedes and Abt-Audi teams each had to work a night shift after the training accidents.

Nobody can be blamed for the fact that the race was stopped prematurely after the harmless tête-à-tête between Susie Stoddart and Mike Rockenfeller, after 49 of 60 planned laps. Because on a street circuit like Pudong, the race director has to decide within a few seconds whether to stop or whether a safety car should also be used.

Important detail: In China, the race management had direct radio contact with the race for the first time Drivers. In this way, the pilots could be warned of danger spots much faster than before.

Was the track safe enough?

The answer to this question is: Yes, and without restrictions. The Chinese and the line builders from Germany did a great job. FIA man Roland Bruynseraede was delighted after seeing Scheider's accident site: 'Great, the wall held up.' It was only moved back half a meter.

Scheider's crash in qualifying was one of the most severe accidents in DTM history. The Audi derailed at 220 km /h,turned 180 degrees, hit the stern first in the outer wall and only came to a stop after another 110 meters.

The dethroned defending champion was completely unharmed, and it wasn't long before he joked again made. On the grid, he went to the scene of the accident again and happily posed for the photographers with the scratches and tire marks that his car had left in the wall. The question of whether he would have got off just as easily in the WTCC's tin cars remains of course hypothetical.

The cause of the accident for Scheider's slip was a lane marking. The Chinese reacted: The night before the race the slippery white stripes were milled off.

Why did Paul di Resta only come in second?

'Paul is my friend,' says Shanghai -Winner Gary Paffett. When it comes to victory, the Briton knows no mercy. Or is it? Paffett did not put any pressure on his Formula 1 travel companion from Scotland in the early stages of the race. (Both were test drivers in 2010, one for Force India, the other for McLaren.)

Once again it was a sleepy pit stop that cost di Resta victory. The Scot stood at the pits almost three seconds longer than Paffett. It passed easily. This gave optimal results for the two species from Great Britain. One took the title, the other the victory and second place in the championship. Paffett was just one point ahead of the Canadian Bruno Spengler, who traveled to Shanghai as the leader of the table. Only third place remained for the Kandier in the final ranking.

It is quite possible that di Resta and Paffett would have discreetly swapped positions anyway. Because neither of them have an overly warm relationship with the Canadian. Spengler had already lost the title race on Saturday when he couldn't get past 17th place on the grid after kissing the wall.


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