Mercedes: Audi won't dominate

Mercedes believe that they are in much better shape this weekend at Zandvoort than they were two weeks ago at Mugello

Mercedes: Audi won't dominate

Despite Mika Hakkinen eventually winning the race in Italy from 15th on the grid, the entire Mercedes team admitted that Audi had the upper hand last time out, as demonstrated by their performance in qualifying, where A4s filled the top five spots on the grid.

Audi are the favourites for this weekend's race at Zandvoort, as the Dutch circuit features similar types of corners to Mugello. But while Audi have looked stronger in practice, Mercedes believe that they have made progress in the last two weeks.

"We are feeling so much more confident and comfortable with the car," said Mika Hakkinen. "Overall we have a much stronger package here.

"The team have done a lot of work and research since Mugello to understand what went wrong, and the way the car feels, we can be very optimistic."

Hakkinen spent a long time running behind Tom Kristensen's Audi in Friday's second practice session, and the Finn feels that it was useful to follow the Dane rather than try to pass him.

"I was following Tom for quite a while," he added. "It was a good exercise, I saw their strengths and their weaknesses.

"I wouldn't put a bet on a Mercedes being on pole in the dry, but we should be able to make a better qualifying result than at Mugello."

Jamie Green, who took pole at Zandvoort last year, added that he felt that Mercedes were in better shape than they were in Italy.

"We're much stronger here," he told autosport.com. "It should be a lot closer between us, but you can't tell too much from practice."

Timo Scheider, who came so close to winning at the same circuit for Opel in 2003, has set the pace so far this weekend, and the German believes that there is more to come from Audi.

"Our fast laps are pretty decent already, so it's been good so far for us," he said. "But we do want to step things up a bit."

shares
comments
Hakkinen fined for Mugello antics
Previous article

Hakkinen fined for Mugello antics

Next article

Scheider on pole as Audi dominate

Scheider on pole as Audi dominate
The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality Plus

The longest-serving Red Bull driver revealing F1’s true brutality

His day of days in Formula 1 came at Indianapolis in 2005, a day grand prix racing strives to forget. But Patrick Friesacher, the long-serving Red Bull lieutenant, remains active today driving a two-seater that provides ordinary people with a glimpse of an F1 car’s savage potential, including this writer...

Formula 1
Jun 2, 2022
How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir Plus

How the DTM has come back stronger from its Norisring nadir

OPINION: Questionable driving standards and farcical team orders meant the DTM's first season under GT3 regulations ended under a cloud. But the organisation has responded firmly by banning team orders and welcomed new manufacturers, making for an intriguing season ahead as new and returning names prepare for battle

DTM
Mar 30, 2022
The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics Plus

The remarkable career of a 'classy' champion who rejected politics

Over two decades as a factory driver with Audi and BMW, Martin Tomczyk earned the respect of team-mates and rivals as a hard but fair racer. After calling time on his racing career, the 2011 DTM champion sat down with Autosport to look back

GT
Mar 5, 2022
The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival Plus

The other Hamilton conqueror seeking career revival

On his rise through the ranks before reaching Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton was usually a cut above the rest. But he never truly asserted himself over a Mercedes-backed fellow Briton who traded single-seaters for touring cars and is now seeking new opportunities after a year largely spent on the sidelines

DTM
Dec 18, 2021
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