DTM: Audi Dominant at 2015 Hockenheim Season Finale (with Video)
Coverage of Audi’s dominating weekend performance at the 2015 DTM season finale in Hockenheim. While Audi didn’t manage to nab the championship, the podium of both races was dominated by Adui RS 5 DTM drivers.
Round 17: Audi One-Two on Saturday
Timo Scheider is back: The 2008 and 2009 DTM Champion in the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix claimed a commanding win of the first of the two final DTM races at Hockenheim. For Scheider, this has been the first victory in the DTM since October 2010.
The German who lives in Austria started from the front row and on lap two overtook the BMW of Maxime Martin, the fastest driver in qualifying. Subsequently, Scheider increasingly pulled clear of his immediate rivals, drove the fastest race lap and in the end crossed the finish line with a 2.875-second advantage over Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM/Audi Sport Team Rosberg).
“To finally stand at the very top again after such a difficult season is a great feeling,” the Audi driver said following the seventh triumph he has clinched in a DTM race in total. “I’m very happy about it, especially for my guys in Audi Sport Team Phoenix who, just like I, had to wait for a long time for this moment. Obviously, it’s a shame for Audi that we weren’t able to keep the title race open in the drivers’ classification.”
Following a good qualifying session, the minimal title chances of Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM) and Edoardo Mortara (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM/both Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) remained intact. But lap one already produced the preliminary decision in the title race. Mortara had to pit following contact with another car and subsequently retired after another collision. Mattias Ekström dropped from seventh to 18th place at the start. In the duel with leader of the standings Pascal Wehrlein he was sent into a spin by Wehrlein’s brand colleague Robert Wickens on lap three. From position 20, Ekström still managed to recover to ninth place and, as a result, improved to second place again in the standings. However, the drivers’ classification went to Mercedes driver Pascal Wehrlein early.
The manufacturers’ classification, in which Audi passed Mercedes-Benz on Saturday and is trailing BMW in second place by 56 points before the final race on Sunday (from 15.00, CEST, live on ARD), remains open.
Valuable points were scored on Saturday by Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller. From position five on the grid, Green battled his way forward to second place and went on to complete Audi’s one-two result. In fierce duels, the Briton overtook the BMW of Maxime Martin and the Mercedes of Paul Di Resta, subsequently kept both of them at bay without DRS help, and mounted the podium again for the first time since the Lausitzring race at the end of May. Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM finished in fifth place.
Round 18: One-Two-Three Win for Audi in the DTM Finale
In the finale at Hockenheim, in front of 135,000 spectators (throughout the weekend), Audi won the two last races of the DTM season and on Sunday repeated last year’s one-two-three victory. On clinching his fourth success this season, the Briton Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg secured the runner-up’s spot in the Championship.
18 races, ten victories, 21 podiums, ten fastest race laps and eight pole positions: The Audi RS 5 DTM was the strongest car in the 2015 DTM season. Still, in the end, this tally was only enough for the brand with the four rings to take second, third and fourth place in the drivers’ classification, second place among the manufacturers, and third place in the teams’ classification. Jamie Green was 19 points short of winning the drivers’ title and the margin in the title race of the manufacturers’ classification, with 602 versus 595 points, was even smaller.
“This was a bitter-sweet ending of the season for us,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “The fans got to see an impressive performance of the Audi RS 5 DTM and a superb one-two-three win once more. In spite of a difficult starting base, the manufacturers’ title was within our reach today, but we let it slip away. It was aggravating that we incurred two drive-through penalties.”
The first one was imposed on Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM) for a pit stop violation (‘unsafe release’). On lap 16, there was a collision between Christian Vietoris (Mercedes) and the two Audi drivers Miguel Molina (Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM) and Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM), which meant the end of the race for Tambay, who had been running in position four in the early stage. “That I was punished for this mystifies me,” Molina said, wondering about the penalty.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
“That so many spectators traveled to the finale at Hockenheim in spite of the nasty fall weather speaks for the DTM. On clinching the one-two win on Saturday and the one-two-three success on Sunday, we showed once more how strong the Audi RS 5 DTM has been this year. Ten victories in 18 races are a respectable tally. And no other driver has won more races than Jamie Green. So, it’s all the more disappointing that we weren’t able to take any of the three championship titles home. Still, I’d like to thank our drivers, the three teams, all employees of Audi Sport and our partners for their commitment this DTM season that wasn’t a really easy one. There’s no reason to be disheartened. Congratulations to Pascal Wehrlein, to BMW and to the victorious Mercedes-Team.”
Dieter Gass (Head of DTM at Audi Sport)
“The final weekend was a mirror image of the season: we were extremely strong, won a lot of races, but also missed scoring valuable points again and again. I think that there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that we had the best car this year. We confirmed once more that we have three tremendous teams and an extremely strong driver squad. Six of our eight drivers and all three teams have won races this year. This speaks for itself. Before the final weekend, we only had minimal chances of clinching one of the three titles. That’s why our expectations weren’t very high anymore. We kept our promises, went for maximum attack and clinched two superb results.”
Jamie Green (Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM #53) position 2 / position 1
“I won the first race of the season here and the last one. That’s definitely special. I was able to quickly overtake Gary (Paffett) on Sunday and subsequently drove the race home in a controlled manner. This was my fourth victory this season – I can be proud of that. Congratulations to Audi on their one-two-three victory and ‘thank you’ to my Rosberg team.”
Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM #10) position 1 / position 5
“After a very, very difficult year, with my victory on Saturday and our fifth place on Sunday, we were finally at the point where I’d have liked to see our performance throughout the season and that we’re able to show as well under normal circumstances. Following this long low, it’s obviously a relief to start the winter break with such a tremendous weekend. In that respect, I’m more than happy with the finale at Hockenheim.”
Edoardo Mortara (Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM #48) retirement / position 3
“In 2015, I battled for the title up to the last weekend – as a result, this has been my best DTM season, one with many great moments. After my retirement on Saturday, the race on Sunday was a lot of fun. My pace was very good and the team contributed its share with a perfect strategy as well. Still, after the final weekend, I initially feel more disappointed than happy because I arrived as the runner-up and now I’m only in position four of the final standings.”
Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM #5) position 9 / position 2
“We promised our fans that we’d battle for the title up to the last chance – and we kept our promise. In spite of it, we unfortunately didn’t manage to keep the championship race open up to the final event – one of the reasons being that I picked the most unfortunate moment for the worst start in my DTM career. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Audi RS 5 DTM was the best car in the field. We just didn’t extract enough from it.”
Mike Rockenfeller (Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM #99) position 5 / position 15
“The finale at Hockenheim reflects my season. On Saturday, things were going pretty well with position six in qualifying and fifth place in the race. Sunday then was very frustrating again. I clinched a victory and two pole positions in 2015. That’s all in terms of highlights. After three good years in the DTM, this one has simply been jinxed. I’m going to forget about it now and look forward to better days.”
Miguel Molina (Teufel Audi RS 5 DTM #17) position 17 / position 11
“Our performance was extremely strong the whole season, which the weekend at Hockenheim again showed. I started the race on Saturday and Sunday from the second row, but didn’t score any points. And that’s also what I’m planning to do in the future: to improve my consistency and results in the races. As the highlight of the season, I’ll always remember my victory at the Nürburgring. But I’m not going to rest on those laurels.”
Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM #51) position 14 / position 16
“On Sunday, I finally had a good qualifying again and managed to confirm my fast times from the practice sessions. Unfortunately, my first set of tires wasn’t good and from position seven I wasn’t able to make up any places. The second set of tires was much better and I had already pulled clear of two rivals when I had to sit a drive-through penalty for an ‘unsafe release,’ which I couldn’t understand at all. That’s what ultimately ruined my race. That’s a shame because a top-5 position would have been possible to end the season. Now I’m going to recharge my batteries in winter and attack again next year. Congratulations to my Rosberg team and to Jamie on winning and taking second place in the championship.”
Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM #27) retirement / retirement
“I’d so much been hoping to end the season on a positive note but, unfortunately, the standings on Sunday again show a zero twice behind my name. Especially on Sunday, a lot more was possible from position six on the grid, before I was forced to retire due to a collision I wasn’t at fault in. I’d have liked to do my part in still turning the tables in the manufacturers’ classification. Now I need to analyze the season, get over it and look ahead.”
Arno Zensen (Team Director Audi Sport Team Rosberg)
“A tremendous finale for our team. Jamie (Green) with his second place on Saturday and his triumph on Sunday clinched the runner-up’s spot in the championship in the season’s final sprint. Furthermore, he’s by far the most victorious driver in the field with his tally of four top spots. This, too, shows his class. Neither he nor our team has been discouraged by our misfortune halfway through the season and now we’ve been rewarded for it. Nico Müller could have ended the season with a strong result as well. Unfortunately, he received a drive-through penalty that I can’t understand at all. ‘Thank you’ also to Audi Sport for the awesomely strong RS 5 DTM. It’s just a shame that the fastest car in the field remained without a title.”
Hans-Jürgen Abt (Team Director Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline)
“Two of our guys – Edo (Mortara) and Mattias (Ekström) – still had title chances on the last weekend of the season. That makes me happy because it shows that we had a strong year. I think we delivered good racing to the fans and a great fighting spirit. Still, we wanted more because our aim is always the championship. My thanks go to the whole squad that pulled together on nine weekends and never gave up during the time in between. The position as the best Audi team and the two first places in the pit stop classification are a small reward for this commitment.”
Ernst Moser (Team Director Audi Sport Team Phoenix)
“We found our old strength again this weekend. That’s a great feeling, especially on Saturday with victory by Timo (Scheider) and position five by Mike (Rockenfeller). Sunday didn’t work out quite as well, but in position five Timo clinched ten more championship points. Congratulations to Audi on claiming a one-two-three win to close the season. It’s a shame that, despite having the best car in the field, the four rings didn’t clinch a title. But the package is right, so I’m optimistic that our team, following a fair to middling season, can come up trumps again next year.”