26,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) saw an impressive performance by the Audi squad. Despite driving one of the heaviest cars in the field Mike Rockenfeller was unbeatable on Sunday. In the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix, the 2013 DTM Champion secured the top spot on the grid in a thrilling qualifying session and subsequently scored an uncontested victory with a 4.132-second advantage over Bruno Spengler (BMW).
“It was tight only in the first turn,” Mike Rockenfeller said following his second victory at Moscow Raceway. “My start was a little worse than Bruno’s (Spengler) and I had to take a bit of a risk to keep him behind me. Fortunately, it worked out. My team gave me a perfect car today that was exactly the way I need it. Thanks a million for that!”
Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline celebrated Mattias Ekström’s third place like a victory. His Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM had to be prepared again from scratch overnight following the accident in race one on Saturday. In addition, the Swede received a three-place grid penalty by the stewards of the meeting due to the collision.
This did not keep the Swede from battling his way forward from position five on the grid to third place and thus a podium finish. Ten minutes before the end of the race, following a lap-long duel, he overtook Maxime Martin’s BMW. “I learned to be a little more patient yesterday and that paid off today,” Ekström said after his recovery with which the Audi driver reclaimed the lead of the drivers’ standings he had lost on Saturday. “I have to thank my mechanics who gave me a perfect car again overnight and, to top it off, delivered the quickest pit stop as well. A class act!”
Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg completed Audi’s strong overall performance at Moscow Raceway. The Briton was right behind Mattias Ekström nearly throughout the whole race and, on the final lap, still tried to overtake Maxime Martin as well, but remained in fifth place.
Edoardo Mortara in the Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM, in position eight, defended his third place in the DTM drivers’ standings. In the early stage, in a thrilling duel with Saturday’s winner Pascal Wehrlein, the Italian prevailed. Nico Müller in the Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM saw the checkered flag ahead of the Mercedes driver and title contender as well. Like the day before, Müller finished ninth.
With five Audi RS 5 DTM cars in the points, Audi recaptured the lead of the manufacturers’ standings in the DTM as well. After 12 of 18 races, the brand with the four rings is ranked 28 points ahead of Mercedes-Benz and 95 points ahead of BMW.
Miguel Molina (Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM), Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Antonio Giovinazzi (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM) took positions 14, 16 and 21.
“This was a dream result for Audi today,” Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, said, summing up the event. “We saw two thrilling DTM races and an extremely strong Audi RS 5 DTM here in Russia. A big ‘thank you’ goes to the entire squad that had to work extremely hard to prepare the cars again following the two accidents yesterday. That was a really strong performance. But we won’t have a lot of time to celebrate because the season continues at Oschersleben in only two weeks from now. Following today’s victory, we’re going to have pretty heavy cars again there as well. The DTM definitely remains thrilling.”
Round 12: Video Highlights
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM at Audi Sport)
“This has been a dream result for Audi today. We saw two thrilling DTM races and an extremely strong Audi RS 5 DTM in Russia. We have to remember that we were racing with very heavy cars here. A big ‘thank you’ goes to the entire squad that had to work extremely hard on Saturday to prepare the cars from scratch again after the two accidents. That was a really strong performance. That the crew that got the least amount of sleep even delivered the quickest pit stop on Sunday says it all. This weekend has shown yet again that at Audi we close ranks when it matters. That we took the lead in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ standings again is the reward for the hard work that was done. Plus, the fact that each of our teams has now won a race this season speaks for the strength of our squad.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #99) position 10 / position 1
“Moscow was an event with ups and downs for me this year. On Friday and Saturday, we weren’t optimally sorted. As a result, I finished race one only in tenth place. Afterwards, we made some minor changes that went exactly in the right direction. On Sunday, I had a tremendous car, plus that little bit of fortune that’s needed to clinch pole. The start went well. I was able to defend my position in the first three corners and then pull clear of the field. Subsequently, I was able to control the race.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #5) retirement / position 3
“The trophy and the champagne for third place on Sunday belong to my mechanics, who made this success possible with their commitment in the first place. Even though I was responsible for their nightshift with my collision on Saturday, I’m not going to change my driving style. I’m a passionate racer and whenever the opportunity to overtake presents itself I’m going to use it – that hasn’t changed even after 15 years of racing in the DTM. The situation in the championship continues to be very close. Motorsport fans can expect three more thrilling race weekends.”
Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #53) position 4 / position 5
“After five races without points, we scored a large number of points again here at Moscow and, with positions four and five, have even managed to reduce the gap to the top of the standings. So, we’re back on the right track. Our Audi was top this weekend. With a car like that even more would have been possible – especially on Sunday. Unfortunately, the pit stop didn’t work out. If we put an equally strong Audi on the grid in the next races, I’m expecting quite a bit in the season’s final sprint.”
Edoardo Mortara (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM #48) position 6 / position 8
“I was expecting a difficult weekend. And it turned out to be the toughest one for me so far this year. At least, I was able to grab a few points that may still prove very valuable in the battle for the championship. After taking sixth place yesterday, I was really struggling to bring position eight home on Sunday. More was simply not possible.”
Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM #51) position 9 / position 9
“Moscow was my first race weekend this year on which I scored points in both races. That’s not so bad. But on Sunday, there was clearly more potential than another ninth place. At the end of the first lap, I made a mistake and, following a good start, dropped to position seven. Our strategy may not have been the best one either. As a result, I suddenly had Pascal Wehrlein on my heels and was really busy keeping him behind me, but managed to do that.”
Miguel Molina (Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM #17) retirement / position 14
“My collision on Saturday when I suddenly spun and was hit has been the most serious one in my career so far. That’s why it was good to immediately get back into the car – that was important for my self-confidence. The positive finding from this weekend is that our RS 5 DTM works well and is quick even with plenty of additional weight.”
Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #27) retirement / position 16
“Unfortunately, the weekend at Moscow has been a reflection of my season so far: it’s just not panning out. We tried everything and battled and showed our potential. Now, we’ve still got six races on tracks I like and on which I’ve previously achieved good results and times.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #93) position 19 / position 21
“An exciting weekend. Thanks to the tremendous support by the team and by Audi I managed to improve session by session in my DTM debut. On Sunday, I was only lacking three tenths from the pole position of my team-mate Mike (Rockenfeller). Unfortunately, in the race itself I was hit early by a rival and lost a lot of ground. Afterwards, I had a lonely race. My lap times were good and I learned a lot. It was a great experience, ‘thanks’ to everyone for this opportunity. Now I’m going to concentrate on the battle for the title in Formula 3 again.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
“First of all, congratulations to Audi and ‘Eki’ on clinching the dual lead of the standings. Our team scored with both cars at Moscow. That’s not so bad for starters. But especially on Sunday, we could have even done better than taking positions five and nine. Jamie (Green) could have clinched pole in qualifying if he’d had a clear lap. In the race, we unfortunately bungled his pit stop. Without this slip, he’d have gone out again in front of Bruno Spengler and could, as a minimum, have finished as the runner-up. Nico (Müller), after a braking mistake on lap one, delivered a strong race and brilliantly defended his position against Pascal Wehrlein’s attacks.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
“This weekend offered everything that describes motorsport at its best: thrilling qualifying sessions, gripping races, a bit of drama and a comeback by Mattias Ekström, whom some had already written off on Saturday afternoon. Congratulations to Mike Rockenfeller and Audi, but for us, Mattias’s third place is like a victory as well. ‘A thank you’ to our guys in the pits: in a nightshift, they prepared two cars again from scratch and then, totally cool, delivered the two quickest pit stops of the day. This team spirit makes me feel proud and is going to support us through the remainder of the season.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
“Moscow seems to be a good track for us because, after 2013, we’ve now won here for the second time. ‘Well done’ to Mike (Rockenfeller), who, just like the whole squad, never gave up. Following the events at Spielberg and the weeks afterwards, this was a good sporting response.”