Mercedes' Gary Paffett says this weekend's DTM Oschersleben race was lost during qualifying yesterday after carrying a five-grid place penalty into session.
Paffett, after finishing sixth from starting twelfth on the grid, received the penalty yesterday for a tyre irregularity stemmed from free-practice, an identical offence which cost BMW's Bruno Spengler his pole-position.
"Too bad that I was only in twelfth place on the grid as a result of my penalty,” said Paffett.
“I drove a strong race and kept seeing Mike Rockenfeller and Augusto Farfus as they ducked out of sight at the end of the straights.
“Unfortunately, we lost the race yesterday in qualifying.”
Despite finishing sixth the Brit believes his Mercedes had the pace to battle amongst the top BMW's and Audi's today had he started from where he had qualified.
“Audi were very strong today but not invincible,” said the 2005-champion.
“We were not too far behind in terms of pace and were just unlucky on Saturday. Everyone knows how closely contested and how evenly matched the field is in the DTM, and moving forwards is not easy from a low starting position.
“Had I been in seventh place on the grid, then I would have had a better chance of being among the front-runners at the finish,” Paffett concluded.
Paffett now falls out of title contention 59-points away from runaway championship-leader Mike Rockenfeller, who now only has Augusto Farfus to deal with 33-points back.