Quotes after qualifying on the EuroSpeedway Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport) "At the beginning of qualifying, we trusted our internet weather frog, who -- unfortunately -- slipped up again. We had information that conditions...
Quotes after qualifying on the EuroSpeedway
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
"At the beginning of qualifying, we trusted our internet weather frog, who -- unfortunately -- slipped up again. We had information that conditions would be dry at first, and wet later. As a result, some of our teams wanted to scrub rain tires on the first lap and then change to slicks. Unfortunately, the rain started on the very first lap so that these drivers were no longer able to drive a fast lap. With an extra dose of performance Mattias (Ekstrom) made it into the second section after all and posted the fastest time there. In the shoot-out of the top four drivers, he clinched the well-deserved pole position with a perfect lap. I'm particularly pleased that we again managed getting a driver of a year-old car -- Mike Rockenfeller -- into the top four. I'm sorry for Tom Kristensen, Martin Tomczyk, Oliver Jarvis or Alexandre Premat, who are further toward the rear of the grid although they showed today that they're able to be at the very front."
Mattias Ekstrom (Red Bull Audi A4 DTM #5), grid position 1
"That was the craziest pole position in my career. I just barely made it into the second section and in the end I'm all the way at the front. I know how important pole is, particularly here at the EuroSpeedway, because it's difficult to overtake on this circuit. I quickly got over my misfortune at Hockenheim. Perhaps that was the best DTM weekend of my career until something destroyed my left rear tire in the race. Whatever it was, I'm hoping it won't show up again tomorrow."
Mike Rockenfeller (S line Audi A4 DTM #11), grid position 3
"In the beginning I really worked up a sweat when I noticed that a heavier drizzling rain was setting in during the first qualifying. I was nervous because we went out on the track a minute too late. It was also pretty tight because the rain was really getting heavy. I was lucky to have made it into Q2. At the beginning of Q3 I got stuck in traffic and ended up in fourth place. Everyone else kept doing their laps, so on my last outing I again tried driving a little faster. I managed doing that until I spun in the long right-hander and ended up in the gravel trap. That kept me from participating in the final qualifying. I'm on the second row anyhow -- that's nice."
Timo Scheider (GW:plus/Top Service Audi A4 DTM #1), grid position 4
"In the first qualifying we barely avoided a disaster. Thanks to the work by the boys I managed a chaotic lap by pushing like hell -- including two passing maneuvers fighting against the two girls. Q2 was okay too, although I wasn't completely happy with the car. For Q3, we still had a new set of tires. But traction of the rear wheels wasn't perfect. In the end, I finished fourth because Paffett was relegated on the grid due to a penalty. Second row -- that has greater potential than Hockenheim did where we recovered from fifth to second place. So now, let's just move from fourth to first!"
Katherine Legge (Audi Collection A4 DTM # 21), grid position 9
"Ninth place was good -- I'll accept that with pleasure. The weather distorted a lot of things. The team did a very good job and sent me out on the track right away. Just the first quarter of the lap was dry. In the second qualifying we could have easily managed the leap into the top eight if there hadn't been too many drivers fighting each other. As a result, I was driving in traffic and finished ninth. But that's still my best qualifying result so far."
Markus Winkelhock (Playboy Audi A4 DTM #12), grid position 10
"Qualifying definitely didn't go the way I'd expected. I'm not totally unhappy with tenth place because things could have been worse -- just look at Alex (Premat) and Olli (Jarvis). Still, I'm not pleased. In the beginning I wasn't able to clock good times. When things started improving I was continuously driving in traffic. On my last lap I could have easily made it into the top eight but Lauda obstructed me. My lap was ruined, that was the end for me."
Alexandre Premat (Audi Bank A4 DTM #14), grid position 15
"That was a very difficult qualifying! We basically had lots of potential. However, we waited too long to go out on our first trial because we trusted the forecast that said it wouldn't rain any more. When it did start to rain we didn't even manage to get into the second qualifying section. That was a disaster because the car was really good and could have gotten us into Q3 or Q4."
Martin Tomczyk (Red Bull Cola Audi A4 DTM #6), grid position 16
"The team opted for the wrong strategy and made the wrong decision when we decided to scrub the wets. We wanted to have perfect tires in the event it would rain, but then the rain started early. Conditions were too wet for slicks, while in the beginning everyone took off on slicks and posted their times. I was no longer able to do that. That's a bitter pill for a racer who's sitting in the car with no options left and trying to achieve the maximum under the circumstances."
Tom Kristensen (100 Jahre Audi -- A4 DTM #2), grid position 17
"If it was anything but modern motorsport, you could almost laugh about it. Our actions were really unfortunate. Congratulations to Mattias Ekstrom on his crazy pole position. He, too, just escaped the fate of being out after the first qualifying by a couple of hundredths. When the track was at its best we scrubbed our tires. Lap after lap, the conditions got worse. I keep smiling -- knowing that tomorrow will probably not be worse but can only get better."
Oliver Jarvis (Audi Cup A4 DTM #15), grid position 18
"A total disaster! We trusted a piece of weather information, waited and than paid a high price. We simply shouldn't have waited. A qualifying simply to forget."
Hans-Jurgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
"That was a super performance by Mattias (Ekstrom), although due to the sudden rain in the first qualifying the situation was very tight for him. In the end, we can be pleased because we've got two cars on the front two rows. I'm sure it'll be a thrilling race."
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
"We were simply not smart enough. We felt that we were on the safe side, but then it started raining. The Abt drivers took off on wets. We thought we'd wait one or two minutes until they were back and to then start on slicks right away. But we waited a minute and a half too long. We've all got to live with this mistake now and, based on the good performance we showed in free practice, move to the front on Sunday."
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
"I was simply stunned! Fortunately, our race engineer, Andreas Roos, looked outside and noticed that a heavier drizzle was setting in. That's why we immediately sent both cars out. That was our luck. With Markus (Winkelhock) the situation was frustrating because, if he hadn't had Lauda in front of him, he would have finished in the top eight. Third place for 'Rocky' is sensational -- the best grid position for a year-old car. I'm incredibly happy. I want to thank the whole squad. This was not to be expected after this morning."