|June 2, 2012
Source: Audi Motorsport
· Edoardo Mortara on grid position one for the first time
· Two Audi A5 DTM cars on the two front rows
· Second pole position for Audi at fourth race of the year
Ingolstadt/Spielberg – Red Bull gives wings: On Thursday, Audi driver Edoardo Mortara experienced the Red Bull Ring from a totally different perspective in a helicopter alongside aerobatics pilot Siegfried Schwarz. 48 hours later, he took his first pole position in the DTM at the wheel of the Playboy Audi A5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg.
“That was simply incredible,” beamed the 25-year-old Italian with dual citizenship and residence in Switzerland. “First, this fantastic helicopter flight and now my first pole position in the DTM! What can I say? Thank you to my guys from Team Rosberg, thank you to Audi Sport! The car was really great to drive today; it was truly enjoyable, although yesterday we still had a few difficulties. I made a small mistake and slipped off the track. But that was yesterday. Today, we’re celebrating pole!”
Mortara, who finished in the top four for the first time in a DTM qualifying session at Spielberg, prevailed against leader of the standings Gary Paffett in a Mercedes-Benz in the crucial shoot-out for the top grid positions by 121 thousandths of a second. At the fourth round, this makes Audi the first manufacturer to have clinched two pole positions in the DTM this year. “This underscores the potential of our A5 DTM,” commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “We worked hard and have still got to do more. But on the whole we’ve seen a good performance here, in the two free practice sessions just like in qualifying. The DTM field is closer than ever. You’ve got no chance to make it into Q3 and Q4 unless truly everything fits. In the case of ‘Eki’ and particularly Edo (Mortara) everything fit today.”
With Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) Audi was the only manufacturer to reach the final qualifying segment (Q4) with two vehicles at the Red Bull Ring. The Swede from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline set the fastest time in Q3 and missed a spot on the front row by merely 27 thousandths of a second – another indication of how incredibly thin the air is in the 2012 DTM.
Mortara’s team-mate Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM) secured position eight on the grid after the Portuguese, in the second free practice session on Saturday morning at 1m 25.654s, had posted the fastest time of the weekend that was not equaled in qualifying.
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM) and Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), both from Audi Sport Team Phoenix, are tackling the 47-lap race on Sunday at 13:30 (starting at 13:15 live on “das Erste”) from grid positions twelve and 13. Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM) and Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM) took positions 15 and 16 in qualifying. Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM) was eliminated in Q1. On position 21, though, the Swiss outperformed the former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard.
Quotes after qualifying at the Red Bull Ring
First pole position for Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Team Rosberg), two Audi A5 DTM cars on the top three spots of the grid – quotes after qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “This pole position is a first reward for the hard work that was done in the past two weeks. It’s nice to see that it bore its first fruit here at least in qualifying. I’m also very happy for ‘Edo’ (Mortara), who made it into Q4 here at Spielberg for the first time last year in his first DTM season – the Red Bull Ring obviously suits him. ‘Eki’ showed a strong performance as well. I think that we’re on a good track if we continue in our efforts. Our goal, naturally, is to convert the good qualifying results into good race results tomorrow – because that would complete the reward for the work of our squad.”
Edoardo Mortara (Playboy Audi A5 DTM), grid position 1
“It’s simply incredible: my first pole position in the DTM! What can I say? Thank you to my guys from Team Rosberg, thank you to Audi Sport! The car was really great to drive today, truly enjoyable, even though we had some difficulties yesterday. I made a small mistake and slipped off the track. But that was yesterday. Today we’re celebrating pole!”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), grid position 3
“That was a good qualifying session! In the third section I had three free laps and was thus able to finally make it into the last round again. It’s always the same there: Only a driver who doesn’t make the slightest mistake will end up on pole. I made a slight mistake. But the race is tomorrow, and we’ll give everything to be in contention for victory then.”
Filipe Albuquerque (TV Movie Audi A5 DTM), grid position 8
“That was a very difficult qualifying session. The car was anything but easy to drive. Every single qualifying section had to be looked at by itself. In the end I was eighth. I was very happy to have made it into Q3. I found it difficult to develop a feel for the car. The track kept getting hotter, my car had heavier understeer and I was hardly able to make good use of the new tires. That’s a real shame!”
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), grid position 12
“The beginning was very good. But for Q2 we risked using only one set of tires. On my first flying lap I then had to lift because there was a car in front of me. Afterward, I had to find my rhythm again. Now we’re starting from position 12. The positive thing is that we’ve still got a set of new tires.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), grid position 13
“Naturally, 13th place is disappointing. It’s hard to find the right words for it. I can’t tell right away where I could have driven faster. I squeezed the maximum out of it and more than that was simply not possible today. It would be good if we could find out what the problem was. In that case, things might be going differently for us on Sunday. There’s still quite a bit possible in the race. Maybe the weather will help us a little in the end.”
Adrien Tambay (Audi ultra A5 DTM), grid position 15
“Qualifying was tough. We made quite a few changes to the car after the free practice session in the morning. We could have achieved position eleven but it would have been difficult to make it into Q3 as I had a lot of traffic on the last lap. Now we’re concentrating on the race. We’ve still got a lot of work to do on the car – and the track is new for me as well.”
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi A5 DTM), grid position 16
“Another disappointing qualifying session. We don’t have an answer at the moment as to what went wrong. The lap was okay, and so was balance – but the lap time was missing.”
Rahel Frey (E-POSTBRIEF Audi A5 DTM), grid position 21
“This was yet another difficult qualifying session. We’d been shooting for Q2 for this weekend and things were looking well after free practice. But my qualifying performance still isn’t what I’d like it to be. At least, I made another small step forward and am on position 21.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline): “This qualifying session was really a thriller. It’s great to be back in Q4 but we did an additional lap on our tires. You could tell that by Mattias Ekström’s time. ‘Well done’ to Edo (Mortara). He did a great job. I’m hoping for a good race.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “Congratulations to Audi, to Team Rosberg and of course to Edo Mortara on clinching the pole position at Spielberg. Last year we were on pole, this time it’s Team Rosberg. It was a tough qualifying session. Unless everything fits one hundred percent, you don’t move forward. For the first time in a longer period of time we didn’t make it into Q3. We’re going to analyze this now and work hard for the warm-up and the race.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg): “This is an incredible day for Audi Sport Team Rosberg. The whole weekend had already been going well for us. In free practice on Saturday morning we were on positions one and two. Before qualifying I told Dr. Ullrich that we’d be trying to repeat this result … but I didn’t really believe we would. So that makes me all the happier about having achieved grid position one for the first time with Audi. Sincere congratulations to Edo (Mortara), he was running really well. Filipe (Albuquerque) complemented the result in eighth place. He might have even achieved a slightly better result, but I’m very, very happy and pleased today.”