Donington: Mercedes qualifying notes

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) qualified his Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM second fastest for tomorrow's third round of the 2002 DTM at Donington Park, England. After the end of an exciting qualifying in tricky conditions, Jean was 0.067sec behind Opel driver...

Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes) qualified his Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM second fastest for tomorrow's third round of the 2002 DTM at Donington Park, England. After the end of an exciting qualifying in tricky conditions, Jean was 0.067sec behind Opel driver Manuel Reuter who achieved pole position with a time of 1:38.703. Jean was on the provisional pole 16 minutes before the end of the 45-minute session with a time of 1:38.770 but was edged out 30 seconds to the end of the session by Reuter.

Alain Menu (Opel Astra V8 Coupé) will start third on the grid after achieving exactly the same time as Jean.

Qualifying started on a wet track but conditions improved a bit after about 20 minutes. Jean achieved his best time on slick tyres, but just seconds later it started raining again. Jean had used eleven of his allowed twelve qualifying laps and waited in the pits for the last 15 minutes of qualifying.

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, second (1:38.770): To be on the front row of a DTM race for the first time, is fantastic although I missed pole position by just 0.067sec. Of course, I'm happy about my performance as there will be so many English friends watching the race tomorrow. The last 15 minutes of qualifying made me very nervous as I waited to see if anybody would be faster than my provisional pole time. We made the decision to go out on slicks rather early and when I was on the track on my first lap I was shocked how slippery it still was. But as we were committed to our decision we went on to go for as many laps as possible."

Marcel Fässler, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, eighth (1:39.498): I'm quite satisfied with my first two runs on wet tyres although my set-up wasn't perfect for the first sector. Unfortunately I was not able to improve on my last two runs. But our basis for the race is not bad, especially if it is not raining tomorrow."

Patrick Huisman, CEB AMG-Mercedes, ninth (1:39.846): We were about two minutes too late out with slick tyres, the drizzle had already started in the last sector, so I lost my chance to improve. With a bit more luck a much better qualifying position would have been possible."

Thomas Jäger, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, eleventh (1:40.025): On my first two outings I encountered set-up problems, then we made some changes to the car which really helped. I'm happy to be the fourth fastest Mercedes-Benz car in eleventh position."

Bernd Mayländer, Oase AMG-Mercedes, twelfth (1:40.084): Our team performed well today. During my last run I was on a fast lap but then I had to pass another car and I lost my chance to improve."

Peter Dumbreck, Original-Teile AMG-Mercedes, 13th (1:40.235): My qualifying session didn't go to plan. My aim was to be in the top 10. After this morning's Free Practice it looked good for qualifying, but it was a difficult session. My second set of tyres didn't work, I achieved my fastest time on my third set."

Christijan Albers, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 14th (1:40.298): We had a problem with our set- up for qualifying. I knew I could go quicker but I struggled with the tyres. After one lap they didn't work anymore. I'm very pleased with my first sector time, but in sectors two and three we were completely off the pace."

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, 16th (1:40.374): We thought it should have been possible to achieve a good time on slick tyres, but every time I went out I was just a bit too late and it had started to drizzle. In these conditions, there are always winners and losers, and today, I got it wrong."

Uwe Alzen, Warsteiner AMG-Mercedes, 18th (1:40.546): I don't know what happened. Maybe I could have achieved a 1:40.3, but I'm sure a time under 1:40 was not possible for me today. We will analyse the data now and hope to be better prepared for tomorrow."

Stefan Mücke, Service 24 h AMG-Mercedes, 21st (1:40.961): It's my first time at Donington. I just couldn't find a set-up for the car. We have to analyse our performance in detail and hope to find improvements for the race where better positions should be possible."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: Jean did a very good job on slicks in these tricky conditions. There are three cars within 0.067sec with second and third doing exactly the same lap time. Jean lost the chance of being on pole only seconds from the end of qualifying. We want to provide the British race fans with good sport on race day in hopefully dry conditions."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Marcel Fassler , Peter Dumbreck , Bernd Schneider , Bernd Maylander , Uwe Alzen , Manuel Reuter , Christijan Albers , Norbert Haug , Patrick Huisman , Thomas Jäger , Stefan Mücke , Alain Menu