DTM Norisring: Audi quotes

Dieter Gass (Head of Audi Motorsport)

“It’s been an exciting weekend with two spectacular races, a tremendous crowd on both days and narrow gaps which are typical for the Norisring. I think the fans really got their money’s worth. Mattias (Ekström) was a driver to reckon with once again at the Norisring. I’m very happy that we had him here. And for him, it paid off too: he’s the new leader of the DTM standings. We continue to lead the manufacturers’ and teams’ classifications as well, even though we didn’t score quite as many points as we possibly could have. Especially on Sunday, we had a lot of misfortune, but there are days like these in motorsport. People will be talking about the photo finish for third place with three cars side by side for a long time. Mike’s (Rockenfeller) injury is obviously weighing on us to some extent. We wish him a speedy recovery and are happy that nothing more serious happened to him and Gary (Paffett).”

Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #5) position 3 / position 4

“A good weekend with many points, lots of variety but, unfortunately, no victory. But now I’m the championship leader. Conditions in race one were very wet at first. When the track dried off I had to battle. I can’t complain about position three on Saturday. My race on Sunday was packed with variety. On my way to fourth, I swallowed a lot of dust. The start wasn’t so great, but then there was plenty of action up until the red flag. Afterwards, I was following the front runners, benefited from the battles in front of me and saw the podium in my mind’s eye. Unfortunately, there was a slight push from Marco Wittmann in the final turn, which caused me to drop to position four again.”

Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #53) position 7 / position 8

“This has been a tough weekend. We didn’t achieve good balance even in free practice. Our setup didn’t pay off and we were too slow. If you’re lacking just one or two tenths at the Norisring you’ll end up on the far rear of the grid. The practice and qualifying sessions were difficult, so the races were only about finishing. We managed that and scored a few points.”

Nico Müller (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #51) position 9 / position 13

“Actually, we were running well but, unfortunately, we clearly fell short of taking advantage of our pace. On Saturday, we could have done better than position nine, but the conditions were very difficult. On Sunday, from third on the grid, we’d set our sights on a podium finish, but then everything went wrong. I didn’t have a really good start and after the pit stop, I didn’t manage to warm up the tires and lost time. While trying to defend my position I flat-spotted a tire. Plus, I had contact with Bruno (Spengler) and after that, there was no chance anymore.”

René Rast (AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Audi RS 5 DTM #33) position 12 / DNF

“We only extracted two points from the Norisring, and they weren’t even scored in the race but in qualifying. We had the pace in both qualifying sessions. In the race on Saturday, I unfortunately drove across the yellow line at the pit lane exit otherwise a podium would have been possible. On Sunday, I didn’t manage to nail things down in qualifying. In the race, I had a collision with Robert Wickens. On the whole, not a good weekend.”

Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #99) position 13 / DNF

“The start to the second race was okay, and then things became turbulent. Our strategy wasn’t perfect, but we still need to discuss this. Then the accident with Gary (Paffett) happened. There was nothing I could do. I was already inside the turn. There was a huge impact. I’m happy that our cars are so safe. But, unfortunately, I have a midfoot fracture. Maybe it’s not so bad. I hope to be racing again in Moscow.”

Loïc Duval (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM #77) position 15 / position 15

“Even though there were a few positive moments this was definitely not a good weekend and I didn’t score any points. The race on Sunday was better than the round on Saturday. The track is very special. The last time I drove here was 13 years ago and it took me a while to get used to it again. Unfortunately, my last sector was never so good. Up until the safety car period, things were looking pretty well, even though there were a lot of laps left to drive. Unfortunately, you can never guess if and when there might be a yellow period. That’s why I had to pit when everybody else had already made their stops. That ruined my race. But, generally, my learning curve in the DTM is pointing upwards.”