Audi's Mike Rockenfeller has put his disappointing tenth place finish at the Hungaroring down to a set-up choice made prior to qualifying.
Rockenfeller was already on the back foot heading into the race following uncharacteristically poor qualifying, which left the defending champion having to start the race 13th on the notoriously claustrophobic circuit.
The Phoenix-man, like most of the front-runners, had started the race on the softer option but became victim of the standard tyre runner's relentless onslaught once they changed onto the option rubber – Bruno Spengler the main to capitalise on the alternate strategy in third.
Having not been totally happy with his RS 5 during practice the German said he the made decision to make the changes prior qualifying in a bid to elevate his way back up the order.
But the tweaks backfired and Rockenfeller admitted his Audi became very inconsistent, forcing the former Le Mans winner into 'uncharacteristic' mistakes.
“We could have achieved P5, P6, which would have been better, no doubt. But overall it was an interesting weekend, we learned a lot, the car was really not the way I needed it as a racecar,” Rockenfeller told crash.net.
“For qualifying I changed the set-up, which I didn't like and in the race it was the same problem like in qualifying, but of course we couldn't change it because of parc ferme.
“In general the car was very hard to drive to make a lap without making any mistakes and then the pace wasn't there anyhow - it was very nervous on the rear and very harsh over bumps. On top of that I was making a lot of mistakes, which I don't usually do in a race.”
Rockenfeller, however, did believe he was on the right strategy given the success his Audi teammate Edoardo Mortara was able to inherit from the race, but a communication problem hindered his ability to maximise the pit-stop phase.
“The strategy we were on was the definitely the right one. You could see Mortara in P12, one position in front of me and after two laps we were together and he finished P4 and I finished P10. Nothing wrong the strategy, we just had no pace,” he said.
“The pit stop was not good. We actually came in a lap early because of a communication problem so we lost a couple of seconds there and in the end that's what we were missing.”
As a result of his tenth place he now trails the Hungaroring race winner and championship leader Marco Wittmann by 19-points after three of the seven rounds.