DTM

Norisring: Mercedes qualifying report

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) on pole position with a time of 48.609 Christijan Albers (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) was third fastest with a 48.820; the Dutchman is tied for the overall lead with Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM). Bernd...

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) on pole position with a time of 48.609

Christijan Albers (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) was third fastest with a 48.820; the Dutchman is tied for the overall lead with Mattias Ekström (Audi A4 DTM). Bernd Schneider (Vodafone AMG-Mercedes) qualified fifth with a 49.036.

For the first time, Stefan Mücke (CLK AMG-Mercedes) and Markus Winkelhock (Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes) qualified for the single-lap qualifying with their last year's cars. Mücke ended up seventh fastest with a 49.107 whilst Winkelhock was tenth with a time of 49.731. He will start from the fifth row alongside Ekström.

In qualifying, Jean Alesi had been fastest with a 48.581 ahead of Bernd Schneider who had improved to second place on his final lap. Christijan Albers ended up third ahead of Gary Paffett.

Jarek Janis (Sonax Dark Dog AMG-Mercedes/49.084) and Bernd Mayländer (CLK AMG-Mercedes/49.351) qualified 14th and 18th respectively. The gap between Alesi's pole position time and last place was 1.090sec, the six cars from 11th to 16th were within one tenth of a second.

Jean Alesi:

"This is a perfect weekend for me so far. My team prepared the car for the Norisring really well and I'm glad to thank them with my pole position. I like this track which requires precise driving and I'm looking forward to the race in this great atmosphere."

Gary Paffett:

"After this exciting qualifying I'm happy to start the race from the first row, although it's a shame that Jean was a bit faster in the end. Tomorrow everything is possible."

Christijan Albers:

"Good to see three Mercedes-Benz drivers in the first three positions on the grid, unfortunately I'm the third. I was a bit to conservative in the first sector. However, the second row is still a good basis for tomorrow. The 72-lap race will be tough, but me and my car are in good shape."

Bernd Schneider:

"My car ran well, but unfortunately I made a mistake at the Dutzendteich hairpin which cost me some tenths. Starting fifth will make the race quite difficult for me, however, I'll do my best."

Stefan Mücke:

"A perfect day. In qualifying I was lucky to make it to the single-lap qualifying with a gap of 21 thousandths of a second ahead of 11th place. The key to success was, that I could warm up my tyres fast enough. I expect a difficult race, because I'm surrounded by a lot of fast drivers on the grid."

Markus Winkelhock:

"I qualified for the single-lap qualifying with a margin of four thousandths of a second behind Stefan. However, on my qualifying lap I made some mistakes and lost a lot of time. I still hope to finish in the points on Sunday."

Jarek Janis:

"I had a good feeling in qualifying, but then I touched the wall severely exiting the Esses. I like this track and I hope to finish among the top ten tomorrow."

Bernd Mayländer:

"I'm disappointed. On my second run I encountered the same brake problem from which we suffered twice earlier this year. Therefore my car's brakes were not good enough. Otherwise I could have ended up in the top ten as I did in yesterday's Free Practice."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Congratulations to Jean Alesi and the HWA team under Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jürgen Mattheis on pole position and the team performance with positions one, two, three and five. Compliments to the Persson team on the two top ten places of Stefan Mücke and Markus Winkelhock with their last year's CLKs. Jean, Gary, Christijan and Bernd showed a solid perfomance."

-mercedes-

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