Nico Müller fastest in damp, red-flagged first practice

Nico Müller fastest in damp, red-flagged first practice

Nico Müller, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi RS5 DTM
Photo: Audi AG

Audi’s Nico Müller was the fastest driver in a damp first DTM practice session at Spa-Francorchamps, as the session was red-flagged near the end due to an accident for Ferdinband von Habsburg.

The first practice session of the season saw the field take to the track in the Eiffel Mountains on a wet and drying circuit, leading to numerous improvements in the early stages.

Müller had been fastest with 15 minutes gone, before BMW’s Timo Glock, Audi’s René Rast and BMW’s Robert Kubica improved in the following five minutes.

BMW’s Sheldon van der Line was also momentarily on top of the times with 24 minutes to go, before Rast hit the top of the times after 28 minutes with a lap of 2 minutes 26.735 seconds.

The session then had to be suspended for around eight minutes when WRT’s von Habsburg crashed into the barriers, bringing out the red flags for the first time in 2020.

When the session resumed there was only time for one flying lap on a much improved track, with Müller ultimately emerging on top, 0.669 seconds ahead of team-mate Robin Frijns.

Two-time champion Marco Wittmann was the best-placed BMW driver in third, over a second and a half off the pace, ahead of former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica in fourth.

Kubica impressed through much of the session, the ART driver twice hitting the top of the times as he quickly adjusted to the changeable conditions.

Jonathan Aberdein put his Team RMR BMW in fifth, ahead of defending champion Rast in sixth, 3.463 seconds off the pace.

Timo Glock was seventh, ahead of BMW stablemate Sheldon van der Linde in eighth, whilst Audi duo Mike Rockenfeller and Jamie Green completed the top ten, the latter being the only driver to have DTM experience at Spa, although he was 4.381 seconds off the pace in practice.

Qualifying is scheduled for 10:55 CEST (09:55 BST).

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 51 Nico MÜLLER Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 13 2:23.272 0.000
2 4 Robin FRIJNS Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline Audi RS5 DTM 14 2:23.941 0.669
3 11 Marco WITTMANN BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 16 2:24.888 1.616
4 8 Robert KUBICA BMW Team ART Audi RS5 DTM 14 2:25.154 1.882
5 27 Jonathan ABERDEIN BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 15 2:25.801 2.529
6 33 René RAST Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 14 2:26.735 3.463
7 16 Timo GLOCK BMW Team RMG BMW M4 DTM 15 2:26.920 3.648
8 31 Sheldon VAN DER LINDE BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 16 2:26.923 3.651
9 99 Mike ROCKENFELLER Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 12 2:27.190 3.918
10 53 Jamie GREEN Audi Sport Team Rosberg Audi RS5 DTM 14 2:27.653 4.381
11 28 Loïc DUVAL Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi RS5 DTM 12 2:28.060 4.788
12 13 Fabio SCHERER Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 13 2:28.465 5.193
13 10 Harrison NEWEY Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 14 2:28.589 5.317
14 22 Lucas AUER BMW Team RMR BMW M4 DTM 14 2:28.615 5.343
15 62 Ferdinand VON HABSBURG Audi Sport Team WRT Audi RS5 DTM 10 2:29.336 6.064
16 25 Philipp ENG BMW Team RBM BMW M4 DTM 15 2:30.207 6.935