Audi's most competitive showing of the DTM season at Brands Hatch is an indication that the manufacturer is closing the gap on rivals Mercedes and BMW, according to its motorsport chief Wolfgang Ullrich.
Phoenix Racing's Mike Rockenfeller finished third, less than six seconds behind race winner Gary Paffett's Mercedes at the British track. Ullrich, whose teams have won all but one of the drivers' titles since 2006, is certain that the A5 will be a more competitive prospect in race conditions from now on.
"It's nice that 'Rocky' brought third place home. He almost could have battled for second place, but here at Brands Hatch closing up to the car in front is one thing and overtaking it an altogether different matter.
"With five cars in the top 10 [at Brands Hatch], we've scored a strong overall team result, which shows that we're on the right track. That's why I'm looking ahead to the next races with confidence."
Rockenfeller himself was less convinced, and said that he will not know for sure whether or not the manufacturer's work behind the scenes has paid off until the next round at Spielberg in June.
"Brands Hatch is not the same as Hockenheim or Lausitz," he said. "I think if we finish third at the Red Bull Ring [Spielberg], then it's a bit more certain we've taken a step forward than this is."
His former team boss Hans-Jurgen Abt was even more pessimistic after his team's lead driver Mattias Ekstrom once again finished more than 20s behind the winner in fifth place. He believes that more serious work is needed in order to turn the A5 into a consistent contender for race wins.
"From our perspective this wasn't a successful weekend," said the Abt Sportsline team director. "Granted, Mattias made up a few positions after starting from eighth on the grid and even advanced to third place in the championship. But our claim is to be in contention for victory. To achieve this we need to continue to work hard together."