Kristensen wanted more in qualifying
|By Jamie O'Leary||Saturday, June 18th 2011, 18:41 GMT|
Tom Kristensen believes that he was capable of qualifying higher than seventh for his DTM return at Laustiz this weekend.
The eight-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner is substituting on a one-off basis for Mike Rockenfeller at the Abt Audi squad following the German's high-speed accident at Le Mans.
After going quickest in the opening free practice session on Friday, he felt that an even higher grid position was possible for what will be his first DTM start since 2009.
"Maybe it [topping practice] was a case of Christmas coming too early," he told AUTOSPORT. "The new tyres were pretty good on the short runs and I thought I was the only one using them. I checked and in fact, 18 drivers had done the same thing, so I was fastest fair and square.
"I felt more was possible in qualifying than seventh, but when you speak to the drivers here, they tell you that finding the last half a tenth is very difficult."
Just 0.5s separated pacesetter Edoardo Mortara from 17th placed Ralf Schumacher in Q1, while there were only 0.2s between Mattias Ekstrom's quickest overall lap in Q2 and Christian Vietoris in 10th.
With the closeness of competition in mind, Kristensen was happy to make it as far as Q3, although he admitted a number of factors had limited his outright pace and prevented him from making the one-shot pole shoot-out by 0.3s.
"In Q2 I was really happy, but then I arrived at Turn 9 pretty close to Mortara. I was three tenths up on my best lap at the time, but there was a little bit of fine gravel at the corner, so I locked up and didn't want to hit Mortara, and I went into the gravel.
"When I heard that my time was still good enough for Q3 I was very pleased, but in Q3 I just couldn't get the grip from the tyres. I had too much bouncing into turn one, which compromised the lap. The second lap was okay, but there was too much oversteer for anything better than seventh."