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BMW must close the gap after potentially being ‘too cautious’ at Assen

BMW Motorsport’s General Manager Rudolf Dittrich says the marque may have been too cautious in its management of tyres in the first DTM race at Assen, as Jonathan Aberdein was the brand’s best driver in just sixth.

For the third time this year, BMW was beaten by five Audi drivers ahead as it struggled to take the fight to its Ingolstadt rival.

Having edged closer to its rival in the four races at the Lausitzring, Assen saw BMW back to the situation it faced at Spa as its best-placed driver finished nowhere near a podium result.

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South African Aberdein took sixth, more than ten seconds behind the nearest Audi in front.

BMW Motorsport General Manager of Vehicle Development Rudolf Dittrich says the brand may have been too cautious in its tyre management strategy, whilst in qualifying it’s best placed driver, Lucas Auer, was over half a second from pole in seventh.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to build on our sporting performance from the Lausitzring,” said Dittrich. “Even in qualifying we didn’t have the pace we expected.

“Then, in the race we were very careful with the tyres to start with after the experiences in the free practice sessions. Now we need to analyse whether we might have been too cautious.

“Unfortunately, unlike in the course of the season so far, we were unable to make considerable progress in the race.

“Looking ahead to [race two], we need to make sure that we are better in qualifying.”

Aberdein scored his best finish of the season and his result marked the first time he headed up the BMW contingent since joining the manufacturer at the start of the season.

But the 22-year-old says he cannot be pleased with his result, which lifted him to 12th overall in the drivers’ championship on 19 points.

“In sixth place I was the best BMW driver, and it was my best result of the year, but we can’t really be pleased with the result, particularly with our deficit to Audi,” said Aberdein, whose best race lap was over half a second slower than the trio ahead and more than 1.4 seconds off the best time set up an Audi driver in the race.

“We need to put our heads together and work hard on closing the gap.”

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