Ingolstadt/Hockenheim, October 19, 2013 Odd course of events at the DTM: The Audi RS 5 DTM was the fastest car in qualifying for the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring. In spite of this, the best Audi driver will only be starting from position five on Sunday.
Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline managed to post the fastest lap in qualifying albeit only in the second section (Q2) of the four-part chase for the best grid positions. His time of 1m 33.294s was subsequently not achieved again not even by Ekström himself who ultimately, by posting a time of 1m 33.707s, secured position seven on the grid.
Two positions better was Miguel Molina, who in the Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix set a time of 1m 33.572s and missed making it into the crucial fourth qualifying segment by a razor-thin margin of 0.012 seconds. Still, the Spaniard was overjoyed with his own performance. Its great to be the best Audi driver in the final qualifying session of the year, said the Spaniard. Today, I squeezed the maximum out of the car and made no mistakes. Tomorrow, were going to battle for the manufacturers and the team Championship.
Miguel Molinas team-mate Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM will be starting his first race as the new DTM Champion from position nine. My car was pretty difficult to drive today, he said after qualifying. Now, its important to have a good strategy for the race yet again.
Timo Scheider in the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM secured grid position twelve. Filipe Albuquerque (Audi Financial Services RS 5 DTM) as the best driver of Audi Sport Team Rosberg is starting the race from position 14.
For Edoardo Mortara in the Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM and Jamie Green in the second Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, qualifying was over right after Q1. The two Audi drivers are starting from positions 18 and 19.
Obviously, the grid positions arent what we expected them to be, said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. The colleagues from Munich were very strong in qualifying. But we just barely missed Q4 with Miguel (Molina). The time gaps, as always in the DTM, are minimal, thats why Im expecting a thrilling race in which the weather could play a crucial role. Were going to do everything within our means to deliver a great show to the Audi fans at the finale tomorrow. After the first three turns, the picture could be completely different.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): Four cars on the first two rows of the grid: Weve had that before in the DTM, too, and none of our cars at the very front in the end. So our aim remains unchanged: We want to close what has been a great DTM season for Audi with a good finale. The fact that Rocky is already the Champion doesnt change this in any way.
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM): That was a fair to middling qualifying for us. Wed been hoping for more. In the course of the qualifying session there were some indications that it wouldnt be easy for us to battle for the pole position. There were some highlights here and there by our drivers but BMW was massively represented at the front all the time. Still, weve got four cars in the top ten. Its unfortunate for Miguel (Molina) that it wasnt enough for Q4 by such a narrow margin. Hes been subject to more or less public criticism in the past few days and now hes delivered a very solid performance as the best Audi driver. The race is tomorrow and weve got to wait and see what the conditions will be like. On option tires, were always doing well and were going to attack again tomorrow.
Miguel Molina (Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 5
A great moment for me! Its nice to be the best Audi driver in the final qualifying session. Im happy. Today, I squeezed the maximum out of the car and made no mistakes. Tomorrow, were going to battle for the manufacturers and the team Championship.
In Q2, I got everything right on the dot and managed to set the fastest time. In Q3 on the other hand, I didnt catch the best lap of my life. In the end, it was enough for position seven. Its important to be on the first grid positions because that way youve always got a chance to win the race.
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra RS 5 DTM), grid position 8
It could have gone better but it could have gone worse as well. The BMW cars were very strong today. Were hoping for a good race and I think were going to advance some more. My RS 5 fits my driving style; things were going really well in Q1 and Q2. We want to achieve a good result tomorrow.
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 9
It was difficult right from the beginning. We were never among the front runners. Of course its a shame to be on position nine. Wed been hoping for more. But we know that you cant be in front when things arent going perfect in the DTM. But were not giving up and will try and drive a good and clean race.
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 12
Ive got no answer as to why things werent going well. This morning in free practice, I had a pretty good balance on used tires but on the new ones I didnt. It was similar in qualifying. I drove four clean laps without mistakes but in the end the time was simply too bad. Thats disappointing.
It was a tough qualifying session. It was difficult to understand when the tires worked best. I was battling the whole time but didnt manage to make it into the third qualifying segment.
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 18
That was another difficult qualifying today. We were very quick in free practice in the morning. After that, Id expected a better grid position. But we were too slow I dont know why yet.
Jamie Green (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM), grid position 19
A disappointing position. On my lap, I didnt make any major mistake. Its disappointing to be so far at the rear. Weve got to analyze the data now to see why we were so far away from the front.
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): We cant be one hundred percent happy about this qualifying session because BMW was very strong today. But weve got faith in our race speed and are hoping to be able to roll up the field from the rear tomorrow. If BMW should have some more problems with the tires after all, then weve got a chance of finishing on the podium.
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): It was great for Miguel (Molina), he almost made it into Q4 and he was the best Audi driver. His curve is pointing upward. Today, he proved again that hes got what it takes. With Rocky (Mike Rockenfeller) in ninth place both of our cars are within the top ten. This looks good for the team classification. Its a good starting base for winning the team classification as well.
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): After free practice this morning, I was pretty optimistic. Both drivers were very happy with their cars. I dont know what happened this afternoon. Unfortunately, it seems like the season will end exactly the way it started for us.