DTM 2017: Hockenheim II – Race 2

The Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team finished the 2017 DTM season on Sunday with their home fixture at Hockenheim. Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me) booked fourth place in front of 152,000 spectators (over the weekend). This was the 2005 DTM champion's 14th points-scoring finish in the 18th race of the season.

His Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM team-mates Edoardo Mortara (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) also came home in the Top Ten in this last race of the season; Mortara was ninth while his team-mate in the second Pink Panther took P10.

Maro Engel (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was 13th over the finish line in his 60th DTM race. Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was 16th. Robert Wickens (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me) retired following a contact with Tom Blomqvist (BMW).

Marco Wittmann (BMW) took the win in the last race of the season from newly crowned DTM champion Rene Rast (Audi). Mercedes-AMG Motorsport finished the 2017 DTM season in second place in the manufacturers' classification with 568 points.

Comments after the Race

Gary Paffett (36, England):

  • P4
  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me

'What a day! Qualifying was again disappointing with P9, unfortunately. That was a bit frustrating, because the car had more to give, but the race was perfect. I had to fight a bit at the start but subsequently managed to find my way back up into P8. We then stayed out for a long time, longer than most drivers, which was our strategy. I had the freshest tyres after we'd pitted, and the car was just incredible in the race. Its pace was amazing and very different to everyone else's in the second stint. It was a really good race.'

Edoardo Mortara (30, Italy):

  • P9
  • Car number: 48
  • Team: BWT Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'That was a disappointing day for me. Because of the technical problem we had in qualifying, I was unable to start from nearer the front. That always creates problems in the race when you're constantly trying to overtake other cars. At one point, our strategy wasn't looking at all bad. But when I caught up with the rest of the field in the second stint, something must have happened to the car. Maybe I ran over a bit of debris or took one of the kerbs a bit too hard. After that, the pace was no longer very good, and I was struggling right through to the end.'

Lucas Auer (23, Austria):

  • P10
  • Car number: 22
  • Team: BWT Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'Qualifying was great - we got everything right today. Again at the start, everything went very well, and I improved to take third place. After that, we were down on speed. The tyres didn't hold up so good, and I was bumped back down the field.'

Maro Engel (32, Germany):

  • P13
  • Car number: 63
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'Unfortunately, it wasn't quite our weekend. But today is an occasion for me to thank the team. Everybody did a great job. The season has been a lot of fun, and it's been an honour to compete in the DTM this year as a member of this team. We've experienced some high points together, and obviously the best of them was my race win. It's a pity that things didn't work out so well for us at the end of the season, but now we have to focus on the future.'

Paul Di Resta (31, Scotland):

  • P16
  • Car number: 3
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'After the issue in qualifying, I didn't have a chance. We took a gamble with strategy that unfortunately didn't work out. It was a long race, and then I had a puncture at the end. A long winter is now ahead of us, and it's never nice to go into it like this. Still, I want to say a big 'thank you' to the guys for this year. It's been nice to work with this new generation of DTM cars, and I'm hoping for better times in the future.'

Robert Wickens (28, Canada):

  • retired
  • Car number: 6
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Mercedes me
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me

'It's a pity to have ended the season a little early. I had a great race going. I had a good start from P5, although I was actually struggling a little bit in the first stint. But in the second stint, my car really came alive. My speed was pretty impressive and I was able to start working my way forward. Then I misjudged how quickly Tom Blomqvist was going to decelerate at the end of the braking zone. I just touched him ever so slightly, but I think the angle must have been unlucky, because it really damaged both of our cars. From my cockpit, I didn't even see the contact. It was just one of those weird situations. It's a shame, and I feel bad for Tom. We were in the mix for a podium, and then we ended up with nothing. It's disappointing, but I'm really proud of my guys and the rest of the team. We've been through a lot, and we've come out strong every time. Unfortunately, it didn't happen for us today.'

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

'Congratulations to Rene Rast and Audi. They had the best package this year and deserve to be champions. We obviously wanted to end the season with a podium, but Gary's strong P4 finish was enough to give us second place in the manufacturers' classification. Many thanks to everyone in the team. They did a great job all season.'

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

'Congratulations to Audi, Dieter Gass and Rene Rast on their well-deserved championship success. To win this highly-competitive DTM series as a rookie in his first year is an amazing performance. Audi had the best package this season and again produced an exciting battle for P1 in the final race. But let's not forget to give our team a mention for taking us to second place in the manufacturers' classification. It was a close fight with BMW, but we won in the end.'

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