Audi Sport carried out a few days of testing at Jerez this week, with Sergey Sirotkin joining the German marque for evaluation time.
From Monday to Wednesday this week, Jerez played host to DTM testing with Audi, BMW & Mercedes all in attendance. Along with the 2019 test program beginning, Audi gave seven new drivers track time in their RS 5 DTM car. Along with 2018 Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin, Jonathan Aberdein, Andreas Bakkerud, Mattia Drudi, Sacha Fenestraz Benoît Treluyer and Frederic Vervisch were all given time to drive the car and see how they compared to DTM veteran Jamie Green.
“I watched the DTM even as a child, so I was incredibly excited about the test.” said Sirotkin. “Being able to sit in an RS 5 DTM was a unique experience, but also pretty tricky. I hadn’t found the perfect feel for the car by the end of my stint. I’ve never driven a race car before that comes close to the RS 5 DTM – the closest I may have come to it was in Formula 3. The engineers and the mechanics supported me as best they could and shortened the time for me to familiarize myself as much as possible – many thanks once more to everyone.”
The Russian driver, having been dropped from Williams at the end of the 2018 F1 season, has been left with few options for racing in 2019 due to how late the team’s driver decision was made.
However, his backers SMP Racing have made it clear that they wish to continue working with him and are aiming to find him a seat somewhere, although whether it’ll be DTM or not remains to be seen. Making the most of his track time in the Audi, Sirotkin did impress Audi project leader Andreas Roos: “This was another very good test for Audi Sport here at Jerez, All seven drivers did a very good job in our Audi RS 5 DTM. I was particularly pleased to see how excited they obviously were. Even someone like Sergey (Sirotkin) with Formula One experience under his belt had a grin on his face afterwards. With our test vehicle we were able to check off a lot of items on our test program list.”