Mike Rockenfeller insists his lack of pace at the Norisring is not due to after-effects of his Le Mans crash

Mike Rockenfeller insists that his back row grid position for the DTM race at the Norisring has nothing to do with the after-effects of his horrific accident at Le Mans

Mike Rockenfeller insists his lack of pace at the Norisring is not due to after-effects of his Le Mans crash

The Audi driver is returning to the DTM this weekend after he was forced to sit out the last race at Lausitz while he recovered from his accident on board the Audi R18 last month.

He could only manage 17th on the grid in Saturday's qualifying session, but he said he has felt fine in the car so far this weekend.

"I feel bad, but only because I am P17," Rockenfeller told AUTOSPORT. "That's really, really bad. But I feel normal in the car.

"Of course it's nice to be back in the car and feel that everything is fine, and you feel like always. That was positive, and then quite quickly you start with the normal procedures of dealing with the problems you have with the car.

"I don't feel like I have been away, or that this is a comeback. I think I am 100 per cent, we will see in the race, but so far nothing hurts. I have not needed any extra massage, my muscles feel relaxed, my neck is good. So I feel okay."

Rockenfeller added that his qualifying plight was exaggerated by how close the field is this weekend. In Q1, where he was eliminated, he was only 0.4 seconds adrift of the fastest time set by Bruno Spengler.

"To be honest, around P10 is where I should be, because we are two tenths away on pace," he added. "So if you make a mistake and lose another two tenths then that is all it takes [to be at the back].

"That is all, it has nothing to do with me not being in the car at Lausitz, or the accident. It was just a horrible qualifying."

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