DTM

Schneider disappointed at Donington

Schneider disappointed at Donington

DTM champion Bernd Schneider had a disappointing time on his return to Donington Park in the UK this weekend, qualifying 16th and managing only twelfth in the main race. In damp, difficult conditions many cars slid off the track in qualifying and...

DTM champion Bernd Schneider had a disappointing time on his return to Donington Park in the UK this weekend, qualifying 16th and managing only twelfth in the main race. In damp, difficult conditions many cars slid off the track in qualifying and Schneider had trouble in the wet.

"It was the wrong place at the wrong time," he said. "It was very slippery, I was on slicks all the time because I tried this morning (Saturday) and it was pretty wet but I thought it was possible on slicks early on even if it was wet outside. Every time I went out it started to rain a bit and it was a problem to get the front tyres warm. The rears were not a problem but the front ones were."

Bernd Schneider.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.
"Jean was also out on slicks and he made his time," Schneider continued of team-mate Jean Alesi, who held pole position until the final minutes of the session. "But he was five minutes earlier and he did two more laps and got the front ones (tyres) working. Anyway, we had a programme and we were focusing on this programme, we thought maybe it's going to work. This time it did not work!"

Mercedes have been strong in the DTM since the series was re-launched two years ago but the competition is fiercer this season. Schneider thinks Mercedes have been under pressure slightly so far but are getting better.

"It definitely was easier last year because we had the best car and everything worked very well," he said. "This year we are a little bit under pressure. The first race Audi was very strong and we were not able to do the pace but we have improved a lot, especially for Donington which is a circuit I like very much."

Mercedes did seem much stronger during the Sunday races but Schneider was hampered in the main race by two stop and go penalties that relegated him to finishing twelfth after running near the front earlier on. But he has good memories of the Donington circuit from his previous visits.

"Last time was in 1998 with Mark Webber," he recalled. "We won the GT race, Mark did very good in the wet. It was a little bit raining but it was a good race. Also in '97 we won here and in ITC (International Touring Cars) I had some good races, I like this place a lot."

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mark Webber , Jean Alesi , Bernd Schneider