Albuquerque: “The pace is clearly there.”

It has been a difficult season for both drivers at Team Rosberg this season, especially with the fact that it has been a guessing game for all 22 drivers and their teams, trying to make the right calls whenever strategies have been put into effect here in the DTM.

One driver that has been struggling alongside 2012 double race winner Edoardo Mortara is Portugal’s Filipe Albuquerque, who was devoid of points until the eighth race of the season at Oschersleben, where he ended up P4. He was a part of a historic moment where all eight Audi Sport drivers were in the top ten for the first time in the new “DTM-Era” since 2012.

When he talked in a bit more depth with the night before the race, he said, “the pace is clearly there, but on race day, anything happens.”

He admitted that himself, Edo and Team Rosberg had struggled throughout the winter, and even though they may have had good qualifying sessions earlier in the year like at Red Bull Ring, the pair found that they were both lacking overall speed.

He then said that it was worth a shot at making a lot of changes, when the DTM went to the Nurburgring, before more competitiveness came at Oschersleben: “There was more grip with the tyres and my pace had improved. In the race, I went from P17 to P7 until a bad pit stop put me back into P11. Clearly, there was hope there that things were changing and then we got to Oschersleben. P6 in Qualifying and P4 in the race was great.”

The field has been getting closer and closer this year, with Albuquerque, who represented Team Portugal in A1GP, being one of those who are just that small margin off top-flight battles during race day, where he finished: “Here at Zandvoort, it just confirms what I said before about things being different. Even with P6 here, it has been so tight, as I missed out on Q4 by just one tenth.”

Even with the bad luck the team suffered early on in the season, both drivers are hopefully of a good solid points finish to the year, as the outfit now heads to Hockenheim in just over two weeks’ time, where Audi Sport and BMW Motorsport will be fighting it out for the Manufacturers’ Championship. The individual hopes of both drivers is still a main focus, even though the team effort by all eight drivers will count: “I’m after more points in the championship, and I am sure that Edo does not want to finish last.”