Spielberg (AT), 2nd August 2015. Heavy rain dominated the tenth race of the DTM season at the Red Bull Ring (AT). The BMW drivers struggled in extremely slippery conditions and were unable to match the pace being set at the front of the field. Audi driver Mattias Ekström (SE) won the race, which not a single BMW M4 DTM finished in the points.
António Félix da Costa (PT, Red Bull BMW M4 DTM) was the best-placed BMW driver, ending the rain-dominated race in 11th. He was followed over the finish line by Marco Wittmann (DE, Ice-Watch BMW M4 DTM) and Martin Tomczyk (DE, BMW M Performance Parts M4 DTM) in 12th and 13th. Timo Glock finished 15th in the DEUTSCHE POST BMW M4 DTM, just ahead of fellow BMW Team MTEK driver Bruno Spengler (CA, BMW Bank M4 DTM). Augusto Farfus (BR, Shell BMW M4 DTM) came home 19th, closely followed by Maxime Martin (BE, SAMSUNG BMW M4 DTM). Tom Blomqvist retired with mechanical problems with five minutes of the race remaining.
Reactions to the tenth race of the 2015 DTM season.
Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director): “On the whole, this has been a very difficult weekend for us. Even in dry conditions on Saturday we did not manage to get the best out of our package, with only Augusto Farfus and Marco Wittmann finishing in the points. A tough qualifying session meant that we were always going to have to rely on strategy to get a good result today. For this to be the case, we would have needed a safety car. That never happened. Therefore, 11th is our best finish. We are obviously not satisfied with that. The weekend in Spielberg marks the end of the first half of the season – one that has not turned out as we had hoped. The highlight was obviously our outstanding victories in Zandvoort. However, the other races showed that we are not where we want to be compared to our strong opponents. Up until now we have been consistently successful in the three seasons since our return to the DTM, winning six of a possible nine titles. 2015 has been a tough year for us so far. Recent races have shown just how evenly balanced the DTM is. The tiniest of details can make the difference between battling for the win and racing in the middle of the field. We will now work hard to come back stronger in the second half of the season. I am sure it has been an exciting first half of the season for the fans, with many highlights and positive developments. The new race format, with a race on Saturday and Sunday, has been a total success. Proof of this comes in the consistently high viewing figures on TV, and the way it has been received by spectators at the circuits.”
António Félix da Costa (BMW Team Schnitzer, Sun: 11th place, Sat.: 13th place): “We did what we could with the speed we had. I only made one little mistake, and that cost me a few seconds. All in all, I was able to climb a few places. That is a good sign. The weather meant the conditions out there were pretty tough.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW Team RMG, Sun.: 12th place, Sat.: 9th place): “When it comes to it, we must try to take something positive out of today. Our strategy of pitting early and staying clear of any unnecessary battles worked well. This allowed us to make up several positions. Unfortunately we were not rewarded with any points. However, it is obviously difficult to make it into the top ten from 21st on the grid. All in all it has been a tough weekend for us. It is a shame, as I like the track and had had some good races here up until now. We must now put our heads together and see what we can improve for Moscow.”
Martin Tomczyk (BMW Team Schnitzer, Sun.: 13th place, Sat.: DNF): “The conditions were decisive today. Our car was very difficult to drive in these conditions. That was particularly apparent in the middle of the race. That start and finish were pretty good, but we were fighting a lost cause. It is obviously a shame, but we will not give in. We will now analyse what went wrong, draw the necessary conclusions, and hope to come back stronger.”
Timo Glock (BMW Team MTEK, Sun.: 15th place, Sat.: 19th place): “Compared to our really poor qualifying, the race was far better. As far as the pace was concerned, we could even have been pushing for points. However, I made two mistakes. I skidded into the gravel bed and lost valuable seconds. At times visibility was really poor. This has not been our weekend. We must now work hard to ensure we have a better second half of the season.”
Bruno Spengler (BMW Team MTEK, Sun.: 16th place, Sat.: 15th place): “In these conditions, with the rain and spray, it was difficult to see anything. However, I have to say that we were clearly lacking speed in Spielberg. We were constantly battling out there on the track. We must now see what we can learn from this weekend, to make sure we improve for the next race in Moscow.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team RBM, Sun.: 19th place, Sat.: 6th place): “We just did not have the speed to match the pace at the front in these conditions. There is not a lot more you can say about that race. All in all, I scored nearly all the points for BMW in Spielberg with my sixth place on Saturday. That is obviously not good enough.”
Maxime Martin (BMW Team RMG, Sun.: 20th place, Sat.: 14th place): “It was a very difficult race today. Just staying on the track was far from easy. All the BMW drivers struggled in the rain. I lost the car at some point in nearly every braking manoeuvre. It was really unpredictable. Now we can only hope to come back stronger again in Moscow.”
Tom Blomqvist (BMW Team RBM, Sun.: DNF, Sat.: 17th place): “That was not my race at all. Visibility was really poor, and I was battling the entire time. I am struggling to find an explanation. We will now take a good look to see what it could be down to. This weekend has been one to forget.”
Mattias Ekström (111 points), 2. Edoardo Mortara (98), 3. Pascal Wehrlein (94), 4. Jamie Green (81), 5. Gary Paffett (61), 6. Robert Wickens (57), 7. Christian Vietoris (54), 8. Bruno Spengler (52), 9. Marco Wittmann (51), 10. António Félix da Costa (43), 11. Augusto Farfus (43), 12. Mike Rockenfeller (41), 13. Paul di Resta (39), 14. Maxime Martin (32), 15. Miguel Molina (27), 16. Timo Glock (25), 17. Timo Scheider (24), 18. Nico Müller (22), 19. Martin Tomczyk (20), 20. Daniel Juncadella (14), 21. Lucas Auer (8), 22. Tom Blomqvist (6), 23. Maximilian Götz (4), 24. Adrien Tambay (3).
gooix/Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG (148 points), 2. Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (138), 3. Audi Sport Team Rosberg (103), 4. Audi Sport Team Abt (101), 5. SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG (96), 6. BMW Team RMG (83), 7. BMW Team MTEK (77), 8. EURONICS/BWT Mercedes-AMG (69), 9. Audi Sport Team Phoenix (65), 10. BMW Team Schnitzer (63), 11. BMW Team RBM (49), 12. PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG (18).
Audi (407 points), 2. Mercedes-Benz (331), 3. BMW (247).
2015 race calendar.
1st-3rd May – Hockenheim (DE), 29th-31st May – Lausitzring (DE), 26th-28th June – Norisring (DE), 10th-12th July – Zandvoort (NL), 31st July-2nd August – Spielberg (AT), 28th-30th August – Moscow (RU), 11th-13th September – Oschersleben (DE), 25th-27th September – Nürburgring (DE), 16th-18th October – Hockenheim (DE).
Check out some highlights from this past weekend:
On-board race footage Augusto Farfus: