Audi gained "vital experience" for its upcoming challenge at Petit Le Mans later this month, despite finishing a distant third in the Silverstone 1000km with its new high-downforce package, in the view of Rinaldo Capello.
The Italian, who shared the final step on the podium with co-driver Timo Bernhard, added that while the R15 TDI Plus had been badly affected by understeer during the race, the team had learned important lessons looking ahead to the rest of the year.
"Actually the result we achieved is a good result, the first race with the new aero package," he said. "What is important for me is that today we learned something about the car which can help us improve the car for Petit Le Mans. The reason why the car we could not keep the pace with the leaders, was because unfortunately we got an understeering car which we did not expect. It made the car less agile in traffic and that was our weakness during the race. It meant we couldn't attack. It was a good car until yesterday and then we started to struggle a little in the warm-up and this problem stayed for the race.
"What is good that we can gain some experience. We will be ready to fight for the win at Petit."
Bernhard added that he believed a change in wind direction may have affected the R15's performance: "I think that came also into play. Especially the new section, the Turn 11 right-hander was quite unguarded so the wind can blow there and we picked up some understeer at Becketts also. I don't know where that came from... Small things like that can make a difference."
The sister Audi, driven by Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish retired with a differential failure early in the race, having led initially.