BMW’s drivers experienced a difficult qualifying for the final race of the 2014 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) at the Hockenheimring, with only two drivers making it into the top ten.
The Munich manufacturer is hoping to retain its lead over Audi in the manufacturers’ title to take the crown on Sunday, which would be the third in three years for BMW. However qualifying proved to be challenging, with several drivers pointing to the unseasonably warm weather conditions as part of the problem.
Speaking to TouringCars.Net after qualifying, Timo Glock admits he was perplexed by the lack of pace in qualifying, which left him 19th on the grid after being knocked out in Q1 for only the second time this season.
“To be honest I don’t know [what happened] – I can’t give you an answer,” admitted Glock, who had been fourth and seventh in the morning’s two practice sessions. “For me it was a bit of a miracle that we had pretty good pace straight out of the box this morning.
“I think we had the pace for the top ten, but in qualifying when my engineer told me we were seven tenths of the pace I said ‘sorry, there is not much I can do at the moment’. I struggled mainly in sector one compared to the other sectors on the track, but we don’t have any data to compare with so we need to wait and see where I lost the time. It’s one of those days in DTM where you go home and say ‘I didn’t understand anything today’.”
As a result of a poor qualifying, Glock will start the final race of the season on the standard tyre and the 32-year-old is hoping for a safety car intervention to save his race.
“It’s difficult to understand. This [performance] can only be tyre behaviour and how we went into the out lap – if we were not aggressive enough or too aggressive, these are all these things which come into play.
“It seems to me that in cold conditions our car was good enough to be up there but as soon as the track temperature got higher all the BMWs seemed to struggle a bit more and the Audis went quicker.
“If the trend is even warmer on Sunday we will have a different race. From P19 we need to gamble and start on the standard tyre and hope for the safety car at the right moment. If it is a clean race we will struggle to come up.”
Also struggling was BMW Team RMG’s Maxime Martin, who qualified in 15th position, just three tenths slower than the pole time.
“One year is not [the same as] another and one race is not [the same as] another,” said Martin to TouringCars.Net. “Even on the same track we can see that at the beginning of the year Marco [Wittmann] was on the front row and here he’s 13th so everything changes quickly. That’s part of the DTM and it’s really hard. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow to achieve a good result for our championship. But whatever happens tomorrow I think I can be happy with my season.”
“I’m getting used to racing in the pack so we will see. In the middle of the pack anything can happen. I think everybody wants to end with a positive race, so for sure it will be tough racing.”