Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich says his team cannot hope to compete against its Toyota and Porsche rivals under the current World Endurance Championship regulations as it suffered its third uncompetitive weekend in succession.

Though its preparations for the Bahrain 6 Hours had already been hampered by a necessary change of monocoque on both of its R18 e-tron TDIs after cracks were discovered after Shanghai, neither the #1 nor #2 cars posed a threat to the Toyotas and Porsches over the course of the weekend anyway.

Finishing fourth and fifth in class - one lap and two laps down on the race winning Toyota respectively -, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler couldn't keep themselves in the hunt for the drivers' title as Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson were instead crowned.

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Indeed, Audi says the current regulations which dictate it must use a smaller fuel tank to combat its use of a TDI engine are forcing it to make additional pit stops compared to its rivals. It is a situation that Ullrich says is preventing the team from competing.

"Sincere congratulations to S?bastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson on the early win of the title in the drivers' championship. At the same time, our entire squad that worked extremely hard for five days deserves a special compliment. Both race cars were running excellently. A big 'thank you' for this.

"Unfortunately, we didn't achieve the podium. Our drivers were running really well but the small fuel tank capacity dictated by the regulations, despite the efficient diesel engine, forced us to make an additional pit stop five laps before the end of the race or to save an extreme amount of fuel across several stints. A race can't be won like this."

Despite struggling in Japan, China and Bahrain, Audi still has an outside shot at the manufacturers' title heading into the Brazil finale thanks to its wins in the USA and the double-points it gained from its 1-2 at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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Sod the extra fuel pitstop, audi didnt even have the pace to challenge the petrol cars. His argument on smaller fuel tank might have merit if he have the fastest cars, but he didnt. In conclusion, the R18s are slow and they need an extra stop for their thirsty engines.