Aiello gutted by disastrous session

DTM star Laurent Aiello was left exasperated after a disastrous qualifying session at the Norisring today (Saturday) left him 19th on the grid for tomorrow's qualifying race, and admits his title hopes have taken a serious knock

Aiello gutted by disastrous session

The Frenchman is returning to Germany's premier tin-top series after skipping the previous race at Sachsenring to contest the Le Mans 24 Hours with Audi. His replacement for that event, Kris Nissen, was involved in a high-speed crash which destroyed Aiello's race car and forced the Abt Sportsline team to build a replacement machine in a matter of weeks.

But despite topping the times in Friday's first free practice session, when he used a second set of tyres to everyone else's one, the amiable former BTCC champ slumped towards the rear of the grid in qualifying.

"We just don't know what's wrong," he shrugged. "I'm losing time under braking, while I'm turning and under acceleration. And if you lose a bit at this place, then you lose a lot."

Aiello thinks the root of the problem could lie in the fact that his car hasn't had enough miles under its belt to be run-in properly.

"The car is brand new and it takes time to adjust and set-up, which is a situation that is not of my making," he said. "We've got a lot of work to do and need to run the car more. I don't think we're the quickest team here, but I do think I could have matched Christian [Abt, who will start fifth], because our cars appeared to be similar on pace this morning. I was certainly on the same springs as him.

"It's going to be a difficult race, starting from where I am, but it's always difficult around here. I think there's going to be big brake problems because of the heat. Anyway, it cannot possibly get worse for me."

Aiello admits that his championship chances have been severely affected by the events of the last few weeks.

"The championship has got to be very difficult now," he admitted. "OK, I could have been on the podium if I didn't break a roll-bar at Oschersleben, but this is going to be the one which makes big problems for us.

"What you've seen in qualifying, I think it's going to be even worse when it comes to the race. Maybe after the Nurburgring I was thinking the championship was a possibility, but I've now gone back to the pre-season aim, and will be happy to be on the podium at the end of the year," he added.

shares
comments
Qualifying: Pole for Schneider

Previous article

Qualifying: Pole for Schneider

Next article

'We're back!' says Opel boss

'We're back!' says Opel boss
Load comments
How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions Plus

How the DTM's shambolic finale poses awkward future questions

OPINION: The scenes at the Norisring as Mercedes used blatant team orders to secure the first DTM title of the new GT3 era totally undermined the credibility of the championship. But as well as overshadowing the season, it also presents uncomfortable questions to series bosses about the direction it is headed in

DTM
Oct 12, 2021
How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream" Plus

How Audi's new DTM star is channeling Rast to achieve his "childhood dream"

Having learned the ropes in GT3 alongside Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde is in line to take up the three-time champion's baton as Audi's new DTM king. From humble origins in South Africa, it's been a remarkable journey so far for the current series leader, but he knows that the 2021 title is a long way from settled just yet

DTM
Sep 18, 2021
The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive Plus

The number-crunching behind the new-look DTM's equalisation drive

Switching to GT3 regulations marked a fresh start for the DTM in 2021, but it has also drawn a line in the sand against other series using similar cars by engaging AVL Racing to develop a bespoke Balance of Performance system. Here’s how it works

DTM
Jul 23, 2021
The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars Plus

The initial verdict on DTM's move to GT3 cars

OPINION: Facing collapse last year, the DTM has shifted its philosophy from a championship for silhouette-based touring cars to GT machines not too dissimilar to those racing across multiple series worldwide. But despite some initial BoP-based teething troubles, there were some pleasant findings as the 'new DTM' got underway at Monza

DTM
Jun 22, 2021
Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM Plus

Why Albon has his work cut out in the new-look DTM

The DTM moves into its bold new GT3 era with welcome support from Red Bull, which enters two AF Corse-run Ferraris. That includes one for ex-F1 driver Alex Albon, who’s determined to make a success of his GT switch - but he knows it won't be easy...

DTM
Jun 17, 2021
The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king Plus

The slow-burner threatening to unseat Audi's DTM king

It's taken him a while to emerge as a consistent title challenger, but in the final year of DTM's Class One rule set, Nico Muller has smoothed the rough edges and has double champion stablemate Rene Rast working harder than ever to keep up in the title race

DTM
Oct 13, 2020
How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror Plus

How a DTM failure became an unlikely Nurburgring conqueror

Opel's fortunes in the DTM had taken a turn for the worst by 2003 - hardly the pedigree that suggested it could take on the toughest 24-hour race of them all. But that's exactly what it did

DTM
Sep 23, 2020
The season that revitalised a sleeping giant Plus

The season that revitalised a sleeping giant

On the 20th anniversary of the resumption of hostilities in the DTM, Autosport revisits a classic season that brought a staple of German motorsport back to life with a bang and set in motion the careers of some notable names

DTM
May 28, 2020