From grid position 16 to seventh place in DTM race at Zandvoort
In front of 31,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) Audi maintained its one-two lead in the DTM drivers’ standings and first place in the DTM manufacturers’ classification. Audi’s man of the race on Sunday was Mattias Ekström, who in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline shone with a recovery.
Following the disappointing result on Saturday, the two-time DTM Champion had the set-up of his RS 5 DTM changed completely for the race on Sunday. However, due to a defect on the cable harness he was unable to do any laps in the warm-up session and subsequently had to settle for grid position 16. In the race, however, he had one of the fastest cars in the field, made up a total of nine positions and scored six valuable points.”
“Today, I was very happy with my car,” said the Swede. “I had some tough duels with Pascal (Wehrlein) and Christian (Vietoris) that were huge fun. It’s positive that I was able to decrease the deficit in the standings and that we’ll be able to reduce weight for the next two races at Spielberg.”
First points of the season for Adrien Tambay
Adrien Tambay scored his first points this season. The Frenchman in the Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM kept Gary Paffett in the Mercedes-Benz at bay in the final stage and finished in ninth place. Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix trailed Paffett by a narrow margin in eleventh place. The 2013 DTM Champion, who had started from grid position 19, showed a similar recovery as Mattias Ekström.
Jamie Green continues to lead the drivers’ standings
For Miguel Molina and Jamie Green the race was a disappointment. Molina in the Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM defended position five at the start and was able to keep pace with the lighter BMW cars for a long time. But in the hectic stage following the mandatory pit stops, the Spaniard was heavily attacked by other drivers and dropped to twelfth place with a damaged car. Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg finished out of the points in 13th place. As a result, the overall leader’s advantage over Mattias Ekström and Pascal Wehrlein has shrunk to five points.
Timo Scheider in the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM, after starting from position 22, advanced to 15th place. Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM) and Edoardo Mortara (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM) were forced to retire following ‘enemy contact.’
“This was a very difficult weekend for us,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “The performance weight no doubt had an influence, especially in qualifying. That we showed a clearly better performance in the second race on Sunday than we did on Saturday, and that we continue to lead the drivers’ and the manufacturers’ classifications is a positive. At the Red Bull Ring, the weight situation will be a lot more balanced. We’re going to leave no stone unturned to be in contention for victory there again.”
The Red Bull Ring at Spielberg (Austria) will be the venue of the next two DTM races on August 1 and 2.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “For the whole squad, this has been a pretty difficult weekend. Everyone at Audi Sport would rather be battling for victories than a few points. But in view of the weight situation, Zandvoort, above all, was about limiting the damage. On Sunday, we managed to do that with Mattias (Ekström). With the current regulations in the DTM, you’ve got to cope with weekends like this one as well. Now, we’re looking ahead to the Red Bull Ring where the three manufacturers will be closer again in terms of weight than here.”
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM at Audi Sport): “A seventh, an eighth and two ninth places are obviously not the outcome of a DTM weekend we wish for. But justifying the results only by the performance weights would be too easy. BMW were very strong at Zandvoort and we didn’t make the solid showing here that we were aiming for. That we continue to have two of our drivers at the top of the standings and lead the manufacturers’ classification is a positive. The points we clinched here under difficult conditions may be very important in the end.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #5) position 13 / position 7
“If you want to be in contention for the title in the DTM, points may be just as valuable on some weekends as a trophy. That was the case this time. The race on Sunday was one of the tougher types – in many of the duels with my colleagues I had a ‘box seat’. I personally tried to stay clear of all trouble. That was successful because my Audi RS 5 DTM arrived at the parc fermé without a scratch. The Championship promises to become a thriller. I can now take a breather during my vacation in Italy and then we’re going to go for all-out attack again at Spielberg.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #99) position 8 / position 11
“We arrived here with different expectations, especially as Zandvoort is a track that really suits me well. On Saturday, in position eight, I achieved the maximum that was possible. On Sunday, I had to settle for eleventh place. One of the reasons, clearly, was the extra weight our cars had on board. On the other hand, we first have to try to move to the front within the Audi family. In order to do that, we need to extract the maximum from the car, which we haven’t managed to do yet.”
Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #27) position 18 / position 9
“The race on Sunday was a lot of fun. For me, it was a 60-minute qualifying without being able to take a single deep breath. Obviously, there were a few controversial situations so that the fans will have a lot to discuss. That’s typical for Zandvoort: if you’d like to overtake here, you’ll have to take a certain risk. ‘Thank you’ to my crew for the quickest pit stop in the race. We haven’t won any trophies this weekend, but we’re going to bounce back.”
Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM #51) position 9 / retirement
“Zandvoort is a cool track and the atmosphere here is fantastic. All this would even be better if you were in contention at the front. We didn’t mind scoring the two points on Saturday in view of the high extra weight, but on Sunday, unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of potential. I had a few ‘enemy contacts’ that gave my suspension a beating. That’s why I was forced to retire. The positive: we can now unload weight and hopefully will be battling again for the big instead of the small point scores at Spielberg.”
Miguel Molina (Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM #17) retirement / position 12
“Not an easy weekend for the cars with the four rings but, obviously, looking at the weight distribution, we knew this in advance. My qualifying on Saturday was okay and the one on Sunday, with position five, was very good. The second race went well for a long time too, until some colleagues started playing hardball and using a couple of dirty tricks. We’re going to remember that for the future.”
Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #53) retirement / position 13
“A weekend with ups and downs. On Saturday, the qualifying session and the race were good up until my mistake and subsequent spin. On Sunday, my Audi felt even better but, unfortunately, in qualifying I got stuck in traffic. From 18th on the grid, it’s obviously difficult. In the end, I finished in 13th place. With a better stop, a leap into points might even have been possible. But in spite of scoring no points in two races I keep leading the standings. That’s a good starting base for the coming races.”
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #10) position 14 / position 15
“I finished both races, and that’s actually the best I can say about the weekend at Zandvoort. On both days, we weren’t good enough in qualifying. Now we need to analyze why that was the case so that we’ll be able to attack again in the next races. On Sunday, at least my pace in the race was competitive. Unfortunately, on this track, you can’t just get past your opponents even if you’re seven tenths faster some of the time. That’s definitely frustrating.”
Edoardo Mortara (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM #48) retirement / retirement
“As expected, it was a tough weekend for all of us. Still, we have to and will take the positives home: we’ve basically got the speed and are in contention. Now we have to make fewer mistakes and extract the maximum from our possibilities. At Spielberg, in three weeks from now, we’re entering the second half of the Championship. A look at the standings shows that everything’s still possible: a victory and I’m back again.”