I don’t see any other way to interpret Bruno Spengler’s actions from this weekend.
Spengler, who has been tearing up the DTM series this year in his Mercedes, started on pole again this weekend at Hockenheim but a problem with his radio — yes, his radio — kept him from holding off winner Mike Rockenfeller, who was driving an Audi.
If blaming your radio isn’t a cry to join Formula 1, I don’t know what is.
“Today just wasn’t our day,” he said, before he started channeling his inner F1 driver. “The race started well. I got off the line all right and my pace in the first stint was fast enough. I managed to shake Mike Rockenfeller off, but then at the first pit stop, there was a bit of confusion on the radio about whether I should come in or not, and that’s when Mike got past me. But hey, that’s motor racing. Even so, second is still a good result.
Spengler did get a defense from the husky and busy Norbert Haug.
“Congratulations to Audi and to Mike Rockenfeller on his first DTM victory which was well deserved,” Haug said. “Bruno’s car was having radio problems throughout the race, so he didn’t hear the call from the team in time for his first pit stop. If he’d stopped one lap earlier, he would have kept the lead, though we might have lost this on the second stop anyway. All in all, our race speed wasn’t quite up to the level we showed in qualifying. After a run of ten victories in the last 13 races, Bruno’s second place is still quite acceptable. We’ll try to make it better again at Spielberg.”
Oh, and for those of you die-hard David Coulthard fans, the man did not disappoint in finishing 16th.
“After a disappointing qualifying, I started from way back on the grid and immediately lost two positions,” DC said in classic DC fashion. Also, the drive-through penalty cost me valuable time. The weekend didn’t exactly go to plan, but at least I have the opportunity to make up for it in two weeks’ time at Spielberg.”
Hey, on the upside, he didn’t crash out on the first lap as he did during his last year(s) in Formula 1. (Remember when Red Bull was kind of a joke?)
And, just to be fair, and because our Audi fanboy boss would Sutil me if I didn’t give them some due, here are quotes from the Audi guys:
Race winner Rockenfeller: “The race was simply perfect. After the warm-up I didn’t even expect this. But my engineer and my mechanics turned exactly the right screws for the race. The car was exactly the way I wanted it to be – simply fantastic. The foundation was laid by passing a Mercedes right at the start. Plus the early first stop: It gave me enough room to Bruno (Spengler). Afterward, I was able to control the race. I almost feel like a big load has been taken off my chest. It took a long time before I was finally able to sit in an A-car. After a good qualifying session but a poor race at Hockenheim this was exactly the right answer. The ten points are important. And then we’ll try and be even stronger from the outset in Austria.”
And Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport: “Our cars today were simply exactly as fast again as they’d been before qualifying. We put that on track with a very aggressive strategy. Mike (Rockenfeller) drove a perfect race. Martin (Tomczyk) showed his potential. He was quick, aggressive and delivered a fair battle in every respect nonetheless. In addition, we brought Mattias (Ekström) into the points from grid position 16. ‘Edo’ Mortara scored points as early as at his second DTM race. Timo (Scheider) wasn’t quite as happy with his car and his fifth place tends to reflect his efforts to ‘contain the damage.’ But on the whole it was a fantastic showing by Audi.”