Mike Rockenfeller rues ‘stupid mistake’ that damaged race two chances

Mike Rockenfeller rues ‘stupid mistake’ that damaged race two chances

Mike Rockenfeller
Photo: Audi

Despite taking his second DTM podium of the season in race two at the Norisring, Audi Sport Team Phoenix driver Mike Rockenfeller was frustrated with a mistake in qualifying that resulted in a five place grid penalty.

Rockenfeller, who was fastest in the first free practice session, was left looking back at the Nuremburg weekend thinking what might have been, after penalties in both qualifying sessions saw him start further down the order.

“Personally the weekend was not really that great with the result at the end,” explained the 2013 DTM champion.

“We started really well on Friday, in Q1 I was a bit unfortunate with traffic which can happen here, I only qualified P8.

“We got a penalty for something, we had to be last on the grid, I made it back to P2 early in the race and then DNF with a technical issue.”

After his Team Phoenix squad broke Parc fermé regulations in Q1, Rockenfeller was forced to start from the rear for Saturday’s race. In addition to his misfortune, the Audi driver was handed a five place grid penalty for speeding during the red flag in Sunday mornings qualifying session.

“I made a stupid mistake to go too fast after the red flag. I went 120 [kmh], you are only allowed to go 80.

“But I was focused on cooling the brakes and everything I didn’t even think about this rule in that moment, and again another penalty.

“I was thinking, fuck this is not ending. It was ongoing.”

Despite this, Rockenfeller found solace in his ability to race on track, and the pace he showed, dispelling his belief that he struggles at the Norisring.

“I really had to go for it, to overtake people on track,” he explained.

“I had really good fights, and at the end to be on the podium is at least a reward for the pace we had.

“My car and my team had a really good pace and this is good because in the past it was really not my track.

“Hopefully we come back next year and fight to catch up on his [Bruno Spengler] five wins!”