Audi's Head of Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich admits his DTM squad's performance did not meet up to expectations despite clinching a double podium at the Nurburgring.
Audi had headed into the race full of confidence after no less than five of their 'four-ringed' RS5 machines had qualified within the top six of the grid behind BMW's Marco Wittmann.
But by lap ten four Audi's had already retired from proceedings with Timo Scheider, Nico Muller, Miguel Molina and Mattias Ekstrom all reduced to the sidelines following a destructive opening segment of the race.
Scheider and Muller's race both unravelled in the same incident after the Mercedes of Robert Wickens clattered into the rear of Scheider which sent the former double-champion on a collision course into his rookie team mate heading into turn one.
“After two laps, everything was sorted and going well,” said Scheider. I then defended myself against Robert Wickens, he missed the braking point and hit me with locked wheels.
“I flew off and hit Nico Müller, which ended the race for both of us. It was a shame because we had chances of scoring points. It was a foolish and unnecessary action on Robert's part.”
While Mike Rockenfeller and Edoardo Mortara steered clear of trouble to carry the Audi flag in second and third, the same could not be said of Jamie Green who also tumbled down the order.
The Brit had qualified fourth, but he too found himself in a heated duel in the shape of BMW's Augusto Farfus and struggled from there on to limp home 15th.
Despite Ekstrom's early retirement the Swede still sits second in the championship tied on 56-points with Mortara but the Audi duo trail a near unassailable 64-points behind BMW's Wittmann.
“When you've got five cars in the top six on the grid, positions two and three are not enough,” said Ullrich.
“We clearly fell short of our potential today. We're going to use the break between now and the Lausitzring to look better in the last three races of the season.
“In the drivers' classification, a preliminary decision was made. But in the manufacturers' classification, everything is still possible.”