Two-time DTM champion René Rast has conceded that Nico Müller is ‘in a different league’ after the Swiss racer claimed his fourth win of the year to move even further ahead of Rast in the championship battle.
Rast had qualified in second and for Saturday’s race, two tenths behind the Abt Sportsline driver, and hoped to take the fight to Müller in the race.
But the German simply lacked the pace to keep up with Müller, let alone fight for the lead, as he had to accept defeat once again.
Having kept relatively close to Müller before the pitstop phase, with the gap between the two at just under three seconds before the tyre change, Rast fell away much more in the second stint.
That left the 33-year-old also having to defend from title contender Robin Frijns, costing him further time.
In the end Frijns spun out whilst attempting to pass Rast at Turn 1, but by this stage Müller was already over 13 seconds up the road ahead.
“A second place is not a bad result,” said Rast. “However, the gap to Nico was huge. At the moment, he’s simply driving in a different league. He was already flying yesterday.
“Today, he was fast in qualifying and also in the race. At some point, he just disappeared. Obviously, I’m not 100% happy but still, it’s a second place. We did a very awesome job.
“The fight with Robin was intense – he was quicker behind me. He tried to pass me into Turn 1 and I think he overshot a bit; he was a bit too late on the brakes, and spun by himself. That can happen in a fight.
“In the end we just maximised our performance which was P2 today.
“Nico is awesome and strong today, and this year he’s over 50 points ahead. I’m closing maybe to Robin but also Robin is amazingly strong this year.
“It’s going to be tough to catch up to them, but we’ll try everything.”