Motorsports / DTM: german touring cars championship 2013

A 1-2 for BMW with Farfus and Werner in the season opener…

Hockenheim. First, Tim Bendzko performed the official DTM song ’Ich steh nicht mehr still’ (’I am not standing still anymore’), and then, the action started at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg: the first DTM race of the season provided thrilling motorsport action with numerous overtaking manoeuvres, position changes and surprises. The 22 strong field thrilled the spectators on the grandstands. The buoyant winner after 42 laps and 192.108 kilometres was Brazilian Augusto Farfus with his BMW M3 DTM. The 29-year old showed a clever race, successfully used the technical novelties option tyres and DRS and was the first to take the chequered flag from his fellow BMW driver Dirk Werner and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz). 

“That was great fun today. The option tyres and DRS have provided a lot of action. I had a good start and I was very fast. What a start into the season,” said Farfus, who was on the top step of the winners’ podium for the second time in the DTM. The best-placed driver of an Audi RS 5 DTM was Timo Scheider in sixth, who had started from pole position. In total, 87,000 fans attended the first race weekend.

Dirk Werner showed an incredible recovery. From 20th place on the starting grid, the 31-year old from Hanover moved up through the ranks to finish second. “That was an unbelievable race. I didn’t even dare to hope for this. I have overtaken so any cars. I think, not just the fastest driver, but the most clever and the fastest driver now wins races,” said Werner.

Christian Vietoris, who finished thid in the season opener with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was also delighted after the race and said: “What a great race! I had more fun than ever. Even when one has more to do with the tyre decision and the DRS, this was just great.” Werner and Vietoris both scored their maiden podium finishes in the DTM. 

After starting from pole position, two times’ DTM champion Timo Scheider (Audi) missed out on the tactically right moment for a pit stop during a safety car intervention in the first part of the race and thus lost valuable positions. At the end, he still made his way up to finish sixth behind Briton Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) and reigning DTM champion Bruno Spengler (BMW) from Canada. “Today, we got it completely wrong. During the safety car phase, we reacted too late. Such a mistake shouldn’t happen when we want to be in contention for the title. But I also know that this decision has to be made in a split second,” Scheider said.

Marco Wittmann (BMW) was the best novice in ninth place. Pascal Wehrlein and Daniel Juncadella (both Mercedes-Benz), who also drove their first DTM race, finished eleventh and twelfth respectively. The fourth DTM rookie, Timo Glock, drove a good race, but had to park his BMW on lap 18 as he lost the right rear wheel after a troublesome pit stop. Other drivers to retire were Mattias Ekström, Edoardo Mortara, Adrien Tambay (all Audi) and Robert Wickens (Mercedes-Benz).

The second race of the season will take place at Brands Hatch (GB), May 19. 

Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “Incredible – finishing first and second from the back and the front is just great. There were so many overtaking manoeuvres and position changes, that there probably will be no favourite in the next nine races either. The action has definitely been spiced up.”

Toto Wolff, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “It was a difficult race. There is a lot to learn, particularly concerning the tyre strategy. Our young guns have proven themselves. Third and fourth place is a solid result. There were many overtaking manoeuvres. Surely, it is exciting for the fans to watch.”

Dieter Gass, head of DTM Audi: “Of course, we are disappointed. After first and fifth place on the grid, we had hoped for more. On the other hand, we were caught out by the fact that we only had two cars in the top ten, with which we then had problems. Not getting Timo in right away during the safety car phase wasn’t the right decision. All in all, there was plenty of action on the track today.”

Formula 1

Kimi in Sepang 2013


Kimi Räikkönen: “Let’s hope I’m happier in Spain”After taking his third podium finish of the year in Bahrain, our Iceman looks forward to racing closer to home with the start of the European season

Yourself and the team currently occupy P2 in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships;
are you pleased with how things are going?
For sure it’s an okay start and we’re in a better position that this time last year, but there’s a long season
ahead and it’s too early to say if we can fight for the Championships right to the end. It’s going to be hard to
catch Sebastian [Vettel] if he keeps taking good results so we need to start taking more points from him,
but you never know what can happen. We’ll keep pushing to improve the car and see where we end up.
What’s required to bridge that gap to P1?
Some more wins! To catch the leaders, we have to work twice as hard as they are. It’s no secret that we
want more speed from the car in qualifying; it’s so tight up there at the front and we really need to be on the
first two rows to fight for victories every time. It’s good to be able to start the European season where we
are as this is when you see teams starting to push on with lots of new parts for the cars. It’s still early days,
but to have scored strong points since the start of the year is obviously better than not having them. We
need to keep scoring points in the same way; even if it’s a bad weekend for us, we need to keep finishing
as well as we can. That’s how we will fight to the end of the season.
How is the Circuit of Catalunya for you?
I have won twice in Barcelona and I was on the podium there last year too, so I really look forward to going
there again; hopefully to end the weekend with another good result. It’s a circuit where you have to get
everything exactly right to be at the top. All the teams have tested many times at this circuit, so to get an
advantage there is not very easy. The set-up is crucial as the track changes with the wind and temperature
so there’s plenty of work for the engineers too.
Is it good to be racing in Europe again?
I really like racing in Europe. We don’t have to travel that far so all your energy is saved for the weekend
itself. Traditionally the real season starts when coming back to Europe. For me, it’s great.
The Circuit de Catalunya is the only circuit at which you’ve tested the E21 so far; does that help
That’s true, but you have to remember that was at the end of February and the beginning of March so
conditions were very different compared to what we hope to see in May. It was very difficult to get the tyres
working properly when we were last there, but it was the same for everybody. We all start from zero again
in FP1.
The team didn’t get so much mileage at Barcelona during testing, but reliability doesn’t seem to be
so much of a concern now the season is underway?
I didn’t have that many laps there in testing as there were problems with the car and I also missed a day as
I was unwell. That said, me and the team know the track pretty well so I don’t think we’ll be too surprised
about which way the track goes or what setup to use on the car. Even though I didn’t get a lot of mileage in
pre-season, the main thing was I felt good in the car the whole time. Our car seems to be good at every
circuit so far…
You were quite reserved after the podium finish in Bahrain; were you happy with the result?
You’re never really happy if you don’t win, but I suppose second place is as close as you can get. We could
maybe have been a few places higher in in qualifying which would have made things easier, but I drove to
the maximum and luckily we found the pace in the car that was missing in qualifying. Let’s hope I’m happier in Spain.
.Romain Grosjean: “I have the tools at my disposal”
After his first podium appearance of the season in Bahrain, our man in car #8 sees no reason why top
points finishes can’t become a familiar state of play
After a start to the season which fell short of your high expectations, why did everything come
good in Bahrain?
It’s no secret that before Bahrain my feeling hasn’t been right with the car. It wasn’t the chassis, the aero or
anything like that, but we took a while to get everything to my liking and that’s been frustrating. We
managed to put our finger on the issue and I feel much more comfortable now. I really had a good
sensation behind the wheel on Sunday in Bahrain, and a podium position at the end of the race was the
result. I could put the car more or less where I wanted which is all you want as a driver. Third place was a
deserved reward for everyone after all our hard work.
How good was it to get that podium after your tough start to the year?
The race was really enjoyable with a lot of overtaking. There were a couple of tense moments where
maybe things got a little too close, but it was a lot of fun! To come from P11 through to the podium is really
satisfying. I saw P4 on the board and Paul [Di Resta] was not too far ahead, so I thought “come on, this is
the podium, let’s go!” I knew I had fresher tyres but it wasn’t easy as I had to push but at the same time
look after them, which is hard for a driver when you have another car in your sights. Luckily we managed to
get past near the end, pull out a small gap and maintain it until the flag!
How do you feel the E21 is evolving?
We’ve been able to see progress with the lap times so we know that the upgrades being brought in are
working. Last year’s car was already very competitive – we achieved a total of 10 podiums in 2012 – so it’s
good to see the team has retained and developed the best performing areas of the 2012 car for the E21.
For me, after Bahrain, I’m feeling much more at home with the car and I hope that there will be many
successes to come in 2013.
What are your thoughts on the topic of tyre management?
Tyre management has always been part of the qualifying and race strategy. I don’t know about others, I
just know that I always push as much as I can to obtain the best result possible. Of course, if you drive a
certain way or adapt yourself you can get more out of the tyres than if you don’t, but that’s just part of being
a racing driver; you always have to adapt to extract maximum performance.
What will be the key to a good weekend in Spain?
In Barcelona it will be important to qualify well as it will be much harder to overtake than in Bahrain. As a
team, this is an area where we can still improve a little bit, but we have some ideas of how to do that and
hopefully we’ll be able to make the front row.
What are your thoughts on the Circuit de Catalunya?
Everyone knows Barcelona very well from testing. The first four corners which make up the first sector are
pretty fast, then there’s the slow final sector with between turns 10-15. Out of turn 15 you need a good rear
end of the car with strong traction. It’s important not to overheat your rear tyres and managing degradation
will be important – even with the harder tyres which are now allocated – as when you reach high
degradation levels on your tyres you are nowhere on lap time. Tyre management will still be the key area
for a good performance in the race.
What do you need to keep getting podium results?
To keep finishing in front of the competition! We’ve had consistency already, finishing every race in the
points, but now it’s the big results we’re chasing and getting the car as I want it has been a vital ingredient.
Now I have the tools that I want at my disposal I can really push. In some ways you can say my season
starts now! My podium in Bahrain was a very good start to that challenge. If we keep working the way we
have been so far this season as a team I’m sure we can achieve great things.


FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 3, race 3, Hockenheim (D)

Rosenquist wins, Red Bull junior driver Kvyat surprises…

Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) claimed victory in the ninth season round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the 4.574 kilometres long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg. At the start, the Swede took the lead and defended it until the finish. Behind him, Félix Serrallés took the chequered flag in second place. Guest driver and Red Bull junior driver Daniil Kvyat (Carlin) was delighted with his third-place finish at his first Formula 3 outing, ahead of points’ leader Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam).

At the start, stalwart Felix Rosenqvist came to the fore, followed by Félix Serrallés, Jorden King (Carlin) and Daniil Kvyat. On lap three, Richard Goddard (ThreeBond with T-Sport), Roy Nissany (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), André Rudersdorf (ma-con) and Sean Gelael (Double R Racing) collided, which led to a safety car intervention. At the restart, Rosenqvist defended his lead, while Serrallés was overtaken by Jordan King. A few laps later, the Brit also attacked Rosenqvist for the lead, but this attempt was in vain. Instead, he lost his second place to Serrallés and one lap later, he had to surrender third place to Daniil Kvyat. On lap 13, rookie driver King also had to let Raffaele Marciello past, who made good progress from tenth on the starting grid to finish fourth. 

Alex Lynn (Prema Powerteam), Sven Müller (ma-con), Tom Blomqvist (Eurointernational), Eddie Cheever (Prema Powerteam) and Luis Felipe Derani (Fortec Motorsports) rounded out the top ten, which Lucas Wolf (URD Rennsport) just missed out in his home round, finishing eleventh from 29 drivers.

Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport)
“I had a good start and was able to pull a gap from the drivers behind me right away. Then, the safety car came out and my margin was gone again. After the restart, Félix Serrallés was very closely behind me, but I was able to pull away quickly. I am happy that I have won this race. However, I am not looking at the title. I made that mistake last year and it didn’t bring me anything.” 

Félix Serrallés (Fortec Motorsports)
“I had a good start and I am happy that I am on the podium here. Unfortunately, I made a mistake at the restart after the safety car intervention, which was the reason that I got massive pressure from behind after that. Fortunately, I still managed to bring second place home.”

Daniil Kvyat (Carlin)
“My race was good, but I still have to work on the start when I want to win a Formula 3 race. After the start, I quickly found to my rhythm and I was able to stay behind Félix for second place. All in all, it was a great debut weekend in Formula 3 for me with a pole position and a podium finish. I really hope that this wasn’t my last outing in Formula 3.