Mattias Ekstrom was critical of Bruno Spengler's driving tactics during the opening round of the DTM at Hockenheim.
The Abt Audi driver beat Spengler off the line, but lost the lead to his rival as the Canadian drove outside the track limits at turn one to complete his move and re-take a lead he would not relinquish all afternoon.
"We had a car to be in contention for victory – particularly after my good start," said Ekstrom. "But Bruno (Spengler) simply overtook me flat-out on the outside of Turn 1 alongside the track.
"I was running flat-out, too, but he had more momentum that way and was able to pass me again. I didn't think that this was OK. It was the crucial moment of the race because we were almost equally quick."
Ekstrom was also unhappy with the Canadian's driving immediately prior to the safety car pulling in after a few laps on-track during the middle of the race. After accelerating out of the Sachs Kurve, Spengler stood hard on the brakes, almost resulting in Ekstrom plowing into the rear of the HWA Mercedes.
"Out of Sachs I went flat-out after him," added the two-time DTM champion. "The rules say once you're committed [to a restart], then you're committed. I was very surprised he was braking."
Spengler denied that he had deliberately tried to delay Ekstrom prior to the double right-hander that ends the Hockenheim lap.
"I was going to do my restart at the start/finish line, so I was still warming my brakes and tires at that point. That's why I braked hard," said Spengler. "If it caused a problem for Mattias, then I apologize. But it is the leader [and not the second-placed driver] who decides when to go."