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Spengler loses out in Mercedes strategy lottery

1 January 1901


Bruno Spengler admits that he lost out in Mercedes' desire to cover all its bases in the fourth round of the DTM at Brands Hatch, the Canadian leading early on but eventually crossing the line down in fifth place.

Although not a fan of the Brands Hatch circuit, Spengler put that to one side over the weekend to qualify on the front row and power into the lead when he managed a better getaway than polesitter Mika Hakkinen. However, the race began to fracture into various strategies, with team-mates Bernd Schneider and Jamie Green pitting early and Hakkinen and Spengler staying out rather longer.

Of the HWA quartet, Spengler was the last to make his second and final stop on lap 47 but, coupled with a brief stall when he was dropped off the jacks, emerged from the pit-lane in a rather disappointing fifth, behind Schneider, Hakkinen and Audi duo Mattias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk.

Spengler now believes the strategy Mercedes adopted for him was not the right one, although he accepts that the unique Indy circuit was always going to throw up some equally successful and unsuccessful decisions.

“I was very happy with the start of my race, because my car was very good and very consistent,” he told Crash.net Radio. “I could pull away and I had a good pace to win the race but, because it is such a short track here, it is really hard for the team to do a good strategy for every driver. They are trying to get the best out it, but I think I was a bit unlucky with the strategy for me. I don't want to blame Mercedes, but that was the key to my race."

Although disappointed to only add four points to his tally, the pre-season favourite is nonetheless remaining confident for the remaining six races, starting with the next round at the Norisring, a race he won in 2006.

“I am a bit disappointed with the result, but it is still points and I can look forward to the next race at the Norisring, which is one of my favourites," he said, "The car had a lot of pace and potential and I want to repeat my victory of last year.”


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