BMW admitted it was disappointed with a best position of sixth following qualifying for the opening rounds of the World Touring Car Championship in Brazil.
The German manufacturer saw three of its drivers make it through to the final stage of qualifying, Alex Zanardi and Sergio Hernandez both missing out, but in the decisive ten minute shootout, it was SEAT who dominated as they locked out the top five places on the grid.
Jorg Muller was left as the best placed of the BMW drivers in sixth place although he had looked good for a possible front-row start before the SEAT armada knocked him back down the order.
The SEATs benefitted from running on track together while the BMW drivers went out alone to set a time, and Muller admitted he wasn't sure about the new-style qualifying after tactics again came to the fore in deciding the starting order.
“My car was good today, and I managed to be the fastest of all the drivers powered by a petrol engine,” he said. “I am not really convinced by the new qualifying format. We saw even fewer cars running on the track than before, and there were a lot of tactics in play. Tomorrow I will try to gain as many positions as possible.”
Augusto Farfus lines up seventh behind Muller after admitting that the changing track conditions had worked against him, while Andy Priaulx was tenth on the grid and BMW's general manager of engineering for sports and touring cars, Friedhelm Nohl, admitted the manufacturer had hoped for more.
“Obviously we had hoped for a better start to the new season,” said he said. “By finishing sixth Jorg was our best-placed driver, less than half a second behind the man on pole. With Augusto and Andy we have two more drivers in the top-ten. Sergio narrowly missed the second session. However, we still hope to be involved in the fight for podium positions in Sunday's races.”