Quotes from the Audi team following second place at Fuji in round seven of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “A race loaded with suspense that we were leading for more than five hours is behind us. For the last service, Toyota used the strategic advantage of pitting late, chose not to change tires and gained an advantage of about 25 seconds in the process. We tried to make up for the resulting disadvantage on track again. It was thrilling to watch. Loïc recovered a lot, lacking only one and a half seconds in the end. I feel sad for the team of number 7 that had to end its race early following a technical defect.”
Stefan Dreyer (Head of LMP): “What a battle! This has been one of the most exciting races in a long time. In the end, we were short one and a half seconds. That is a little painful after we’d previously been setting the pace for five hours. The performance of the entire squad on site as well as at home remains positive – we have a great car. The technical defect of number 7 is a fly in the ointment today. I’m very sorry about that, also for our driver trio. We need to work on this issue.”
Ralf Jüttner (Team Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “It’s exasperating. We’re not winning any races at the moment. Pole position doesn’t seem to bring us any luck. Congratulations to Toyota on delivering a strong race. Our three drivers of number 8 were running superbly. Loïc Duval was a little unfortunate with traffic towards the end. As a result, we came in second, but this time, at least, we did in front of Porsche. The retirement of number 7 was a shame. Something like that shouldn’t happen.”
Lucas di Grassi (Audi R18 #8): “In this race, we drove seven stints.We get two laps less than Porsche out of one tank of fuel due to the regulations.As a result, we’ve had a strategic disadvantage all season. We’d been expecting Porsche to be our fiercest rival in the battle for victory, but today Toyota was extremely strong and overtook us with the stop towards the end. Congratulations on winning! Our second place feels good but, well, not great.”
Loïc Duval (Audi R18 #8): “This race was anything but easy.We gave our all, were running impeccably and, in the end, came only in second place after all. Technically, everything was right on the mark, but we’re limited by our strategic options.
Oliver Jarvis (Audi R18 #8): “We were at the very front right from the beginning and arguably had the quickest car in the field. To win in this tough environment, simply everything’s got to fit. Second place following such a great race doesn’t feel so strong, but we have to respect the performance delivered here by Toyota. I take my hat off! I hope the fans enjoyed the race – a 1.4-second gap was really close. We drivers love racing in this country.”
Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 #7): “Our race was very disappointing because we had an issue with our hybrid system in an early stage. As a result, we had no part in a fascinating battle. Following our own retirement, we cheered number 8 on. The weekend showed the potential of our Audi R18 even though we missed victory by a narrow margin in the end. But we remain optimistic and will continue to battle for success up until the last race.”
André Lotterer (Audi R18 #7): “What a shame that our sister car missed out on clinching victory. That was really close. All three manufacturers fought a brilliant battle. Unfortunately, we retired in an early stage and will just forget this weekend. Now we’re going to give our all in the remaining races at Shanghai and in Bahrain.”
Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 #7): “The start was good and I improved from fifth to third place. Unfortunately, it took a while for the front tires to warm up. I wanted to overtake the Porsche in front of me to get out of the slip stream that wasn’t helping our car, but I was a little too optimistic. Later, I unfortunately had to pit due to an issue with the hybrid system.”
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 (www.dat.de).