Audi boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich was left ruing a wrong tyre call at the Nurburgring on Sunday, something that cost his drivers' any chance what-so-ever of fighting for the victory.

Audi was looking good heading into the race and after a somewhat controversial qualifying 'his' drivers all but locked out the top-five, with Tom Kristensen on pole followed by Mike Rockenfeller and Martin Tomczyk, in second and third and Mattias Ekstr?m in fifth.

At the start though, Audi gambled on rain and switched most of its drivers' to wets. But when the situation then changed before the start, it was just a question of damage limitation.

"Of course, considering the grid positions we had, the result is very disappointing. As the saying goes among skiers, we 'used the wrong wax' and that was a truly major mistake," Ullrich conceded. "We relied on the information from our meteorologists, with whom we've been working for a very long time, that heavy rain would be setting in immediately after the start.

"For such conditions, rain tyres would certainly have been the only right choice. But then, during the formation lap, we were informed that the rain would be passing by and there would only be a few drops.

"Then we took the right decision to immediately call our two most important cars back into the pit lane, to put them back on slicks and to start behind the field from the pit lane. We thus minimised our time loss and managed to defend the lead in the championship. But we were no longer able to fight for victory that way.

"You don't have a lot of time for this tyre decision process. Once the decision has been made, you have to stick with it. After that, it was only a matter of keeping the damage limited.

"Later on, we tried to keep the speed as consistent as possible. Towards the end, the field came together again because of the rain and there was some more good action. Even though the result wasn't optimal for us, I am happy that the spectators got to see a great race."

Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline director Hans-J?rgen Abt meanwhile was also frustrated with how things turned out, although he defended the weather forecasters.

"We're upset because we made the wrong choice. According to the information we had there was going to be real rain. But the rain wasn't heavy enough, so our plan didn't work out," he added. "The risk we took was too high. But we took the decision jointly. When you take a decision you've got to stick to it. In this case it was wrong, but it's not the end of the world either.

"It was a very thrilling race. Mattias Ekstr?m and Timo Scheider made a strong recovery. That shows that our car was in good shape. Timo made the right choice by switching to rain tyres [near the end]. In this race, everything was possible. What counts is that we continue leading the championship. The meteorologist is not to blame. Trust has to go both ways. On Saturday, his forecast was absolutely correct."

Tom Kristensen, who had started from pole position, but who slid into a gravel tap shortly after his second mandatory pit stop on lap 25, was gutted with how his weekend ended up.

"My race was finished as early as at the start to the formation lap when I had to go out on rain tyres in just slightly drizzling rain. I'm very disappointed that we didn't make use of our good starting base," he continued.

Mike Rockenfeller, who started alongside Kristensen, despite crashing out in Q2 [see separate story], echoed the Dane's sentiments post-race: "Of course with the benefit of hindsight we know that slicks would have been the right choice - and the safer one as well. The track was actually dry and we were running on wets. But at the time our information was different," stated 'Rocky', who finished 15th.

"The reason I stayed out on rain tyres longer than the others was because it was all over anyway and the only hope was that it would start raining after all two or three laps later. But that wasn't the case.

"That's why the gamble didn't work out at all. I'm incredibly disappointed after having such a good chance here. Unfortunately, we gambled it away. It's a particular shame for my mechanics who repaired the car overnight. They would have deserved points today."