Following a difficult weekend at Zandvoort, Audi continues to lead the DTM drivers’ and manufacturers’ classifications. Quotes after the Dutch DTM round.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “For the whole squad, this has been a pretty difficult weekend. Everyone at Audi Sport would rather be battling for victories than a few points. But in view of the weight situation, Zandvoort, above all, was about limiting the damage. On Sunday, we managed to do that with Mattias (Ekström). With the current regulations in the DTM, you’ve got to cope with weekends like this one as well. Now, we’re looking ahead to the Red Bull Ring where the three manufacturers will be closer again in terms of weight than here.”
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM at Audi Sport): “A seventh, an eighth and two ninth places are obviously not the outcome of a DTM weekend we wish for. But justifying the results only by the performance weights would be too easy. BMW were very strong at Zandvoort and we didn’t make the solid showing here that we were aiming for. That we continue to have two of our drivers at the top of the standings and lead the manufacturers’ classification is a positive. The points we clinched here under difficult conditions may be very important in the end.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #5) position 13 / position 7 “If you want to be in contention for the title in the DTM, points may be just as valuable on some weekends as a trophy. That was the case this time. The race on Sunday was one of the tougher types – in many of the duels with my colleagues I had a ‘box seat’. I personally tried to stay clear of all trouble. That was successful because my Audi RS 5 DTM arrived at the parc fermé without a scratch. The Championship promises to become a thriller. I can now take a breather during my vacation in Italy and then we’re going to go for all-out attack again at Spielberg.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #99) position 8 / position 11 “We arrived here with different expectations, especially as Zandvoort is a track that really suits me well. On Saturday, in position eight, I achieved the maximum that was possible. On Sunday, I had to settle for eleventh place. One of the reasons, clearly, was the extra weight our cars had on board. On the other hand, we first have to try to move to the front within the Audi family. In order to do that, we need to extract the maximum from the car, which we haven’t managed to do yet.”
Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #27) position 18 / position 9 “The race on Sunday was a lot of fun. For me, it was a 60-minute qualifying without being able to take a single deep breath. Obviously, there were a few controversial situations so that the fans will have a lot to discuss. That’s typical for Zandvoort: if you’d like to overtake here, you’ll have to take a certain risk. ‘Thank you’ to my crew for the quickest pit stop in the race. We haven’t won any trophies this weekend, but we’re going to bounce back.”
Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM #51) position 9 / retirement “Zandvoort is a cool track and the atmosphere here is fantastic. All this would even be better if you were in contention at the front. We didn’t mind scoring the two points on Saturday in view of the high extra weight, but on Sunday, unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of potential. I had a few ‘enemy contacts’ that gave my suspension a beating. That’s why I was forced to retire. The positive: we can now unload weight and hopefully will be battling again for the big instead of the small point scores at Spielberg.”
Miguel Molina (Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM #17) retirement / position 12 “Not an easy weekend for the cars with the four rings but, obviously, looking at the weight distribution, we knew this in advance. My qualifying on Saturday was okay and the one on Sunday, with position five, was very good. The second race went well for a long time too, until some colleagues started playing hardball and using a couple of dirty tricks. We’re going to remember that for the future.”
Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #53) retirement / position 13 “A weekend with ups and downs. On Saturday, the qualifying session and the race were good up until my mistake and subsequent spin. On Sunday, my Audi felt even better but, unfortunately, in qualifying I got stuck in traffic. From 18th on the grid, it’s obviously difficult. In the end, I finished in 13th place. With a better stop, a leap into points might even have been possible. But in spite of scoring no points in two races I keep leading the standings. That’s a good starting base for the coming races.”
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #10) position 14 / position 15 “I finished both races, and that’s actually the best I can say about the weekend at Zandvoort. On both days, we weren’t good enough in qualifying. Now we need to analyze why that was the case so that we’ll be able to attack again in the next races. On Sunday, at least my pace in the race was competitive. Unfortunately, on this track, you can’t just get past your opponents even if you’re seven tenths faster some of the time. That’s definitely frustrating.”
Edoardo Mortara (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM #48) retirement / retirement “As expected, it was a tough weekend for all of us. Still, we have to and will take the positives home: we’ve basically got the speed and are in contention. Now we have to make fewer mistakes and extract the maximum from our possibilities. At Spielberg, in three weeks from now, we’re entering the second half of the Championship. A look at the standings shows that everything’s still possible: a victory and I’m back again.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg) “We’re leaving Zandvoort with two points scored by Nico Müller. We had higher expectations, especially since the performance of our car was good. On Saturday, Jamie’s (Green) spin prevented him from achieving a better result and on Sunday he got stuck in traffic in qualifying. These things happen, but it’s still frustrating. Here at Zandvoort, starting from the rear of the field means the cards are stacked against you, especially with additional weight on board and a pit stop that’s anything but perfect. It’s sad for Jamie, but he’s still traveling to the next race as the leader of the standings. Personally, I really look forward to it as well, because for a long time Spielberg was like a second home to me.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) “Whenever we travel to a DTM weekend we want to be in contention for victory. At Zandvoort, we didn’t manage that. Obviously, the additional weight played a part in this, but that’s the way the rules are and in Austria the prerequisites will change again. Still, we’re leaving with our heads held high: Mattias (Ekström) showed his fighting spirit yet again and scored important points in the battle for the title with a tremendous recovery. Trailing Jamie (Green) with a five-point deficit promises a nice fight between these two at Spielberg. In addition, I’d like to thank the guys in the pits: the fastest and the third-fastest pit stop in the race show how cool this squad is.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix) “Zandvoort has always been an Audi track so far. That’s why in the team we were hoping that we’d be able to compensate for the high additional weight in the cars better than at the Norisring. We didn’t manage to do this. The races were okay by both drivers on both days. But our grid positions were too weak for each race. We definitely have to improve in this respect. Before the next DTM race at Spielberg, the Spa 24 Hours are coming up for us, where we’re set on battling for victory with the new Audi R8 LMS.”
Further information about the official fuel consumption figures and official, specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Guide to fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new cars,” which is available free of charge from all sales outlets and from DAT (Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH), Hellmuth-Hirth-Strasse 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, Germany (http://www.dat.de).