DTM: Mike Rockenfeller on sixth row
As expected, the fight for the pole position on the 2.3-kilometer city street circuit between the Dutzendteich Lake and the easyCredit Stadium turned into a battle for thousandths of a second. While in the last free practice session in the morning the quickest twelve cars were within just two tenths of a second the time gaps were again minimal in qualifying in the afternoon with 35 degrees in the shade and track temperatures of more than 50 degrees.
After the checkered flag had dropped in Q2, Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Phoenix) was still bumped from tenth to eleventh place. Rockenfeller, who had finished the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours in third place, was only lacking 0.004 seconds to make it into the next qualifying session.
For Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), who was eliminated as early as in Q1 and will start from positions 20, qualifying was a particular disappointment.
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix): “That was truly hard labor. From the first practice session on, we were still looking for the optimal set-up for the Norisring in order to squeeze out the final thousandth here. ‘Rocky’ (Mike Rockenfeller) was quite happy with the car in qualifying; unfortunately, he was lacking four thousandths for Q3. But we’re on a good track here and will continue to work on that up to the race. In Miguel’s (Molina) case we went into the same direction with the set-up. Unfortunately, he was having difficulties with the car and when that happens, you quickly find yourself on grid position 20 here. Now we’re going to work on bringing him farther toward the front in the race.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi A5 DTM), grid position 11
“As expected, it was very tight. We improved the car some more for qualifying. It was a shame not to be part of Q3. Now we’ve got to fight and drive a good race. I’m hoping that in that case we’ve got some chances.”
Miguel Molina (Red Bull Audi A5 DTM), grid position 20
“Qualifying wasn’t good. I’m on grid position 20. My car wasn’t fast. We had changed the set-up for qualifying and that didn’t work out. We’re expecting a tough race. We need to wait how the weather and the heat will develop and how our tires will work.”