DTM

A1-Ring: Mercedes qualifying report

Marcel Fässler on Pole Position 32 thousandths of a second ahead of team mate Jean Alesi - The first 14 cars in qualifying within a little more than one second Marcel Fässler will start Sunday’s eighth round of the 2003 DTM ...

Marcel Fässler on Pole Position
32 thousandths of a second ahead of team mate Jean Alesi - The first 14 cars in qualifying within a little more than one second

Marcel Fässler will start Sunday’s eighth round of the 2003 DTM at Austria’s A1-Ring from pole position. In the single-lap qualifying for Super Pole, Fässler set a time of 1:27.212 and was 32 thousandths of a second faster than his team mate Jean Alesi who qualified second and will start alongside Fässler from the first row. Christijan Albers (ExpressService AMG-Mercedes) was third fastest with a 1:27.412.

It is Fässler’s third pole position of the year and the fifth of his DTM career. He had been seventh fastest in qualifying and therefore started the fight for Super Pole fourth. Only Alesi, fastest in qualifying and last starter in the single-lap qualifying, was able to close in on Fässler’s time. Championship leader Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) qualified fifth fastest with a time of 1:27.680, behind Laurent Aiello (Abt-Audi TT-R/1:27.587). This means that the top-five drivers of the overall ranking will start from the first five grid positions on Sunday.

Marcel Fässler, AMG-Mercedes, Pole Position (1:27.212):

"After I didn’t manage to build up enough grip in qualifying, I started the single-lap qualifying with used tyres. This paid off and it was one of the keys to pole position. The balance of the car was excellent and I thank everybody in our team for their efforts."

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, AMG-Mercedes, second (1:27.244):

"I’m happy about my position on the first row of the grid. Unfortunately I made a mistake under braking before the first corner. It was hard to reduce the small time gap until the end of the lap due to the dirty track and because the margins between the top drivers are very narrow."

Christijan Albers, ExpressService AMG-Mercedes, third (1:27.412):

"We have a good set-up for the race, but not for today’s qualifying. Therefore I’m satisfied with my third place on the grid, also with regard to the championship positions I didn’t take chances."

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, fifth (1:27.680):

"After Martin Tomczyk’s spin the track was rather dirty making it rather difficult for the following drivers. The strategy will be crucial in tomorrow’s race and it will be important to keep an eye on the overall championship positions."

Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 13th (1:28.079):

"My car was perfect, but unfortunately I was not able to drive a perfect lap. Therefore I expect to improve in Sunday’s race. Nevertheless, I hope that with this qualifying I was able to recommend myself already for next year."

Gary Paffett, Service 24h AMG-Mercedes, 16th (1:28.331):

"The result is not bad, but it could have been better. In this morning’s Free Practice I was three tenths of a second faster, but in qualifying my car suffered from oversteer and I was not able to improve my time."

Stefan Mücke, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 18th (1:28.563):

"I’m not happy, because I did not manage to execute our strategy. I had to abort my first run after Bernd Mayländer’s spin in front of me. My second set of tyres did not get warm enough, although I drove four laps in a row."

Bernd Mayländer, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 20th (1:28.780):

"I’m not satisfied with my qualifying result. I had big problems in the third sector, however, the balance of the car is good, therefore I hope to do better in Sunday’s race."

Katsutomo Kaneishi, ARTA AMG-Mercedes, 21st (1:29.765):

"My car suffered from strong oversteer, therefore I was not able to achieve a better time."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Marcel, Jean, Christijan and everybody in the HWA team did a great job. It was an exciting qualifying between the three brands. With nine cars within less than nine tenths of a second in the top qualifying and with less than two tenths between Mercedes, Audi and Opel in the qualifying before we can expect a thrilling race tomorrow."

-mercedes-

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Laurent Aiello , Marcel Fassler , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Bernd Maylander , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Thomas Jäger , Gary Paffett , Kaneishi Katsutomo , Stefan Mücke