Red Bull's Marko calls for SA DTM driver Kelvin Van der Linde to be banned

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South Africa's DTM driver Kelvin Van der Linde
South Africa's DTM driver Kelvin Van der Linde
Supplied by Kelvin Van der Linde/Twitter

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko has reacted angrily to Kelvin van der Linde's recent collision with Liam Lawson, saying the South African should be "banned".

Lawson was in line to win the DTM title, leading Maximilian Götz by 18 points heading into the season's final race.

However, the Red Bull junior's hopes were shattered on the opening lap when Van der Linde, not for the first time this season, crashed into him.

Van der Linde was given a five-second penalty for his antics, with Marko saying a race ban would have been more just.

On Wednesday night (13 Oct), SA's Van der Linde posted this message on social media:

Van der Linde said in his tweet: "After Sunday's race, I decided to turn away from social media and reflect on everything that happened. 

"In that time, I wanted to make sure to contact the person who most deserved an apology. Liam and I spoke last night.

"We spoke about everything that happened, and I apologised for the actions that cost him the championship. I also apologised for how I handled the media directly after the race.

"I was full of adrenaline and had a microphone stuck in my face without seeing what happened on TV. I didn't handle it well, and I'm not proud of that.

"On a sporting side, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Us drivers are forced to make high stake decisions within a split second of time. Those are not always the right ones, and they often have serious consequences.

"The social abuse which I received in the last week leave a sad taste in my mouth and will take time to process.

"The only thing I will say to those who felt the need to say those things: You don't know me, you don't know my family, and you definitely haven't walked a day in my shoes. Sport is Sport. But never ever forget that there are real people behind it all. I do not wish any of that on any human being.

"I will be back here next year. And I will do many things better."

Kelvin, and his brother Sheldon, have been racing in South African motorsport series since they were very young, starting off in go-karts and following in the footsteps of their father Shaun Van der Linde, and grandfather Hennie.

They've raced their way up to the international stage, both now driving in the legendary DTM championship series abroad, racing against each other for Audi and BMW.

Red Bull motorsport advisor told "If that wasn't on purpose, then the race management is not qualified enough to take part in such a championship." 

"There can be no such misjudgement.

"That was a completely mindless manoeuvre by Kelvin van der Linde – and it wasn't the first.

"He also drove into the rear of Liam at Hockenheim.

"For me, this is extremely unsportsmanlike behaviour, which in my opinion should be appropriately sanctioned.

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

Lawson limped home in 18th place while team orders from Mercedes saw Lucas Auer and Philip Ellis both slow in the final three laps to let Götz through for the race win and the DTM title.

Marko wasn't happy with that call either.

"It wasn't a very laudable end of the season that Mercedes then played it so ostentatiously," he said.

Speaking to the media after the race, Lawson labelled Van der Linde as "the dirtiest guy I've ever raced against".

He added: "He never seems to learn.

"To not make through Turn 1 cleanly on both days, to get taken out by the same driver both days is very, very frustrating, and I would have thought the guy would learn, but maybe he never learns."

Marko agrees: "He said this right."

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