Mercedes DTM drivers unhappy with Monza BoP changes

Mercedes DTM drivers feel Audi and BMW were out of reach following two successive rounds of Balance of Performance adjustments during the season opening round at Monza.

Mercedes DTM drivers unhappy with Monza BoP changes

After Mercedes-AMG GT3s locked out the top four spots on the grid for the opening race of the weekend, DTM’s official partner AVL Racing handed a 15kg weight reduction to the Audi R8 LMS GT3s, while also raising the boost pressures of the BMW M6 GT3 and the Ferrari 488 GT3.

Haupt Racing Team (HRT) duo Vincent Abril and Maximilian Gotz went on to finish second and third respectively behind the winning AF Corse-run Ferrari of Liam Lawson, taking a 18kg and 15kg hit respectively as part of the series’ new success ballast rules.

More BoP changes followed on Sunday morning ahead of the second qualifying, with AVL directly pegging back the performance of the Mercedes this time. 

Checkered flag for Kelvin van der Linde, Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3

Checkered flag for Kelvin van der Linde, Abt Sportsline Audi R8 LMS GT3

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

This played a role in only three cars from the Stuttgart-based manufacturer’s stable finishing inside the points, with Winward’s Lucas Auer the highest-classified driver in third behind the dominant Audis of Kelvin van der Linde and Nico Muller.

Auer was able to jump some of his rivals in the pits with an early stop, but felt Mercedes’ German rivals clearly had an advantage over it on Sunday.

"It was very difficult because Audi and BMW were on a different level today," said the Austrian. "But we had a great strategy, came into the pits earlier and also had a new set of tyres. That's why I was able to pull off the massive undercut."

After finishing on the podium on Saturday, Gotz could only salvage a 10th-place result on Sunday, nearly half a minute down on race winner van der Linde.

Read Also:

"After that it was really difficult. Then there was another divebomb from him a few laps later in Turn 1. That's when the car was also a bit misaligned. We then shimmied our way through the race." 

Abril was one of the four Mercedes drivers who failed to score points on Sunday, finishing less than a second behind his teammate Gotz in 11th.

Team boss Hubert Haupt said: "The first race on Saturday went great with second and third places. [On Sunday] the success weight and the BoP made life difficult for us.

"Then there was the unfortunate situation for Vincent [having to take evasive action after contact between Lawson and Esteban Muth's Lamborghini], but both cars made it through. We have to take that as experience from the first race weekend."

Winward boss Christian Hohenadel added: "The Audis at the front were in a league of their own on Sunday.”

Following the opening round of the season, Abril is the top Mercedes driver in standings in fourth on 21 points, 15 down on van der Linde.

shares
comments

Related video

Van der Linde glad to match brother with DTM Monza win

Previous article

Van der Linde glad to match brother with DTM Monza win

Next article

DTM showed it "still deserves its name," say drivers

DTM showed it "still deserves its name," say drivers
Load comments
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
Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis? Plus

Does 2000 hold the answers to DTM's current crisis?

It's 20 years since the DTM roared back into life at a packed Hockenheim with a back-to-basics approach as the antidote to its high-tech past. Now it's on its knees again, so is it time to recall the lessons learned in 2000?

DTM
May 28, 2020