19 Jun Nico Müller eighth at the season opener in Italy
The Swiss Nico Müller, racing driver for Team Rosberg, finished eighth at the season opener for this year’s DTM. On the 5.793-kilometer-long track in the royal park of Monza, he was able to maintain the position he had gained in qualifying, despite a spin after a collision, not of his fault, with Dani Juncadella. The US-American Dev Gore had to retire his Audi after the third lap, after being pushed into the gravel due to an accident, not of his fault either, with Timo Glock.
Nico Müller: “My start was ok, but right after I was just too slow on the straights. Thanks to the early pit stop at the end of the fifth lap, I was still able to work my way forward, so that I was virtually fifth. But then Dani Juncadella turned me around, which is why I lost two places. In the end, I had no chance against Maxi Buhk, who arrived with fresh tires. Overall, we were just too slow, and then I wasn’t really lucky with the collision.”
Dev Gore: “Unfortunately, it was only a short race for me, because Timo Glock pushed me off the track during the third lap. My car remained undamaged, but I was stuck in the gravel and just couldn’t get out. Such an accident can happen. I guess Timo miscalculated a little bit and slowed down too late. Today, my basic issue was the qualifying, in which I was not classified any better than 18th place, due to a mistake.”
Kimmo Liimatainen (Team Principal): “We were fighting with blunt weapons in the race and also in the qualifying. Now it’s time to analyze the results and do our homework until tomorrow’s race, which applies to both – us and AVL, who created the Balance of Performance. I see it as a positive sign that they made slight adjustments after qualifying. Unfortunately, from our point of view, it wasn’t enough. Regarding this topic, however, one must never forget: The DTM based on the GT3 vehicles is new to everyone and we are all still in a process of learning. Nico got off to a good start today, he was fighting and our strategy including the early pit stop was great as well. Unfortunately, he then collided with Dani Juncadella and fell back to eighth place. It’s a shame since fifth place would have been possible; which is not our objective, but at least better than eighth place. The fact that Dev retired in the third lap after a collision, was of course also unlucky.”