Engel apologises for TV outburst, reaffirms van Gisbergen criticism
|By Andrew van Leeuwen||Sunday, February 5th 2017, 09:55 GMT|
Maro Engel says he should not have given a television interview so soon after Shane van Gisbergen's race-ending Bathurst 12 Hour crash, but maintained his criticism of his team-mate.
Van Gisbergen made a mistake in The Esses in the final hour of the event and slammed into the wall, taking his Mercedes out of the race.
German Engel, who partnered van Gisbergen and Craig Baird in the #22 STM/HTP machine, made his displeasure with the crash known in a TV interview moments after the Kiwi's error ended the team's charge at Mount Panorama while running second.
"That's not motorsport in my book," said Engel at the time, after being filmed storming out of the garage. "I've got to watch out what I'm saying, but all I've seen this weekend is a lot of mistakes from Shane. It's a tough one."
Speaking after the race, Engel admitted that he shouldn't have taken part in the interview but held firm on his criticism of van Gisbergen's mistakes - which also included an earlier clash with a lapped runner.
"I've spoken to Shane," Engel told Autosport's sister brand Motorsport.com. "He's apologised to me for basically ending the race, and I've apologised to him for blowing up on TV.
"I probably shouldn't have given an interview at that stage, that's fair to say. It wasn't the right time to give an interview.
"He's an amazing driver, everybody knows that.
"But probably by his own standards this weekend he couldn't be happy with the mistakes he's made, whether it's qualifying when he ended up in the sand, or the late phase of the race.
"He is a great driver, and it's just a shame, because no one is used to seeing that from him. I'm sure he's disappointed as well."
Van Gisbergen was unmoved by Engel's criticism, but accepted full blame for hitting the wall as well as an earlier incident with a Porsche that resulted in the Mercedes being slapped with a penalty - one it ultimately did not take.
"I don't even know what [Engel] said, but he apologised for it," said van Gisbergen.
"I have no comment about what he said.
"I apologised to him, I apologised to everyone on our team, as well as the Porsche that I made contact with. He backed off and I couldn't get off of him, so it was my stuff up.
"I was just pushing over the limit to try and make the best of what we had, and it didn't work out.
"I really hate making mistakes and letting the team down. I'll put it down to experience and make myself better from it, but it shouldn't happen.
"I didn't know about the penalty at the time, after that amount of time I thought we'd be OK. So I was just trying to run with Jamie [Whincup].
"I tried too hard and dropped it."