Wittmann: Audi team strategy "pretty clear" at Brands

BMW driver Marco Wittmann says it was "pretty clear" that Audi ensured its main DTM title contenders Rene Rast and Nico Muller took the top two positions in Sunday's Brands Hatch race.

Wittmann: Audi team strategy "pretty clear" at Brands

After winning Saturday's opening race at the Kent track, Wittmann could managed only a 10th-place finish in the second race, after gambling on an unorthodox two-stop strategy.

It came after Audi drivers locked out the top eight places on the grid in second qualifying, which unlike Saturday's session took place on a fully dry track.

Wittmann had climbed from 12th on the grid to sixth when he pitted for a second time under a slow zone, but he was unable to make up the ground he lost in the remaining laps.

Up front, Rast took his fourth win of the season from pole, despite briefly losing the lead to Audi stablemate Loic Duval at the start, while Muller climbed from sixth to second in the first two laps and stayed there for the remainder of the race.

“There was not much to do, really,” Wittmann told Motorsport.com. “You could see they played all the games they needed, they could cover any strategy which we were aiming for.

“We had a good opening lap, going from P12 to P8, at one stage we were running in P6 so that was probably more or less the maximum we could have achieved.

“In the slow zone we tried a different strategy, at the end it didn’t work out. It was [worth] a try.”

He added: “If you have eight Audis in front, it’s pretty easy for them to cover me, who is their biggest [challenger] in the championship. It was pretty clear what they are doing.

“They brought up Rene and Nico very easily, very quickly. Pretty clear what they did.”

Wittmann said Audi’s qualifying superiority in dry conditions came as a shock to BMW.

“They had such a huge performance that we never saw before,” he said. “Being strong with all eight cars and having a one-second gap to the best BMW is quite massive, we were surprised.

“I can’t do more. We squeezed out the maximum at Assen and [on Saturday], then we see how it continues, where we end up. If you have a race like today, you are somehow sacrificed.”

Wittmann remains BMW's top challenger in the standings, 18 points ahead of Philipp Eng, but he has fallen 59 points behind Rast and 22 behind Muller.

Asked if he feels BMW needs to get behind his title bid more decisively in the remaining three rounds of the season, Wittmann replied: “I cannot comment. I only can do always my best and trying to achieve the best result. The rest is not in my hands.”

Audi's qualifying dominance "bizarre"

Audi motorsport boss Dieter Gass said the Ingolstadt's marque qualifying advantage over BMW on Sunday was something that it hadn't foreseen.

Gass recalled: "Qualifying was bizarre today because I was looking at the timing screens after the first runs [thinking], ‘Wow, what’s going on here?’. 

"I was sceptical about the situation, ‘Are they saving tyres? What’s going on?’ I expected an attack [from BMW] in the second run, which didn’t happen. 

"I think Marco didn’t have the best of laps like yesterday, others like Philipp improved their time compared to yesterday. We just had a very good qualifying, everybody had good laps."

Additional reporting by Tom Errington

René Rast, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Audi RS 5 DTM

René Rast, Audi Sport Team Rosberg, Audi RS 5 DTM

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

shares
comments
Brands Hatch DTM: Rast resists Muller for Race 2 win

Previous article

Brands Hatch DTM: Rast resists Muller for Race 2 win

Next article

Audi DTM title contenders deny "high tension" claims

Audi DTM title contenders deny "high tension" claims
Load comments
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Prime

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works.

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Prime

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Prime

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Prime

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One ruleset, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race.

DTM
Oct 14, 2020
Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis? Prime

Does 2000 hold the answers to the DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020
Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers Prime

Ranking the 10 best Audi DTM drivers

Audi last week announced it would be exiting the DTM at the end of 2020, bringing the curtain down on 20 years of continuous participation since the series' reboot in 2000.

DTM
May 5, 2020
Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit Prime

Why the DTM must reinvent itself after Audi exit

Audi's announcement that it will withdraw from the DTM at the end of 2020 was the latest blow for a series that has lost three manufacturers in as many years. Some major soul-searching will now be required to assess how it can survive.

DTM
Apr 28, 2020
Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing Prime

Why cynic Berger changed his mind over green tech in racing

DTM boss Gerhard Berger was a detractor of Formula E and held a reluctance for his series to embrace greener engine technologies. However, this cynic's tune has had to change to ensure DTM's existence as the motorsport world moves forward

DTM
Dec 13, 2019