DTM 2018: Brands Hatch – Race 1

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport got the second half of the 2018 DTM season under way with a win and third place at the old-established Brands Hatch circuit. The man to beat today was Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS). The Spaniard first took his second pole position in the DTM in qualifying. In the race, he then went out on track to achieve his maiden win in the touring car series. This was Juncadella's second podium of the year following his first DTM podium finish at the Norisring. His team-mate Lucas Auer (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) in P3 joined him on the podium. This was the Austrian's fourth podium of the year and the tenth in his DTM career.

Daniel's performance this season is all the more impressive, as he injured his collarbone in practice before the beginning of the season. Not long after, at the start of April to be more precise, he was back in the cockpit of his Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, test-driving at Hockenheim and busily posting laps. His crew then nicknamed him 'titanium man'. And now, just four months later, our titanium man has become a member of the elite band of DTM race winners!

Daniel's maiden victory was the 188th win for the brand with the three-pointed star in the DTM and the seventh this season. Daniel ensured that a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM started on pole for the seventh time in a row this season. So far this year, a driver from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team has lined up in the top spot on the grid in nine out of the eleven races held this year. With the two podiums achieved by Daniel and Lucas, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport have now increased our record of podiums to 555 since first joining the DTM with a works team 30 years ago.

A strong result by the team was rounded off by Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS), Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) and Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) in the new 'watermelon pink' design, who finished sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) was 16th in his home race.

Gary on 156 points continues to lead the DTM drivers' standings. He is 35 points up on Paul in second place (121 points). Lucas (106 points) and Edoardo (101 points) complete the Top Four overall. In the constructors' championship, Mercedes-AMG (610 points) are in first place with a lead of 222 points on BMW (388 points). The two teams from Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS (227 points) and SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport (207 points) head the team rankings.

Looking ahead to race 2: The twelfth round of the 2018 DTM season starts on Sunday at 14:30 CEST (live on SAT.1 at 14:00 CEST). Third practice will take place before that at 11:00 CEST followed by the second qualifying at 12:20 CEST.

Comments after the Race

Daniel Juncadella (26, Spain):

  • P1
  • Car number: 23
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'Today is a big day for me. The start was a bit disappointing, as I lost two places. But then the guys were absolutely mega at the pit stop. Thanks to them, I re-emerged in front and had very good pace from then on. I treated the race like it was a qualifying session until the last five laps and pushed hard on every one of them. Then, on the final lap I drove very steadily and steered well clear of the kerbs because I just wanted to bring the car home. My first DTM win is a very special occasion for me. I already came quite close at the Norisring this year, and after the start today, I was already thinking that things wouldn't work out for me yet again. But my car was absolutely great and I'm going to party with my crew tonight - they have a huge share in this victory.'

Lucas Auer (23, Austria):

  • P3
  • Car number: 22
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'All in all, I'm satisfied with the race and with a podium finish as the second half of the season gets underway. It's the first time I've driven on this track variant, and compared to the shorter one, it's really tricky. The running order on the track is crucial here. When you're out in front, no-one is going to get past you in normal circumstances. My start was good, and I even managed to lead the race at one point. But then, unfortunately, I lost two places. When you come out of the pits, you need clean air, and then nobody can overtake you anymore. But unfortunately, the other guys were too close and got past me.'

Gary Paffett (37, England):

  • P6
  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'I'm pretty happy with today. I made a mistake in qualifying on my first run and spun off. Luckily, I was able to get the car back to the pits with some damage and managed to qualify in P6. That was a really good result considering I went through the gravel and hit the tyre wall. In the race I was with a bunch of cars at the front to start with, and I was pretty comfortable sitting there. As the race went on, though, they seemed to find more pace and I was struggling a bit. P6 was a decent result today which has brought me more championship points. We now have to carry on improving the car for tomorrow.'

Pascal Wehrlein (23, Germany):

  • P7
  • Car number: 94
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'Congratulations to Dani on his first DTM victory. I'm very happy for him now that he's finally got there. As for my race, it's a pity that I was unable to get the maximum out of it. I was held up in qualifying, which prevented me from putting in a good lap. The pace was there, and that was apparent in the race. I passed three cars, but unfortunately, we were never going to get more out of today. Tomorrow, it will be important to have a better qualifying, and then I'm sure that the race will also go significantly better.'

Edoardo Mortara (31, Italy):

  • P8
  • Car number: 48
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'I found that a long race, during which, nothing special happened, unfortunately. I started out from eighth place on the grid, which is where I ended up. The car didn't feel very good today. We'll have to look into that and analyse the data later tonight when we should be able to see what we can improve for tomorrow. Congratulations to Dani on taking his maiden win in the DTM. A double podium is a good team result for us.'

Paul Di Resta (32, Scotland):

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

'Unfortunately, today has not been a good day for me. We took some risks with our strategy and the early stop and hoped that it would help us to get nearer the front. Unfortunately, the tyres degraded badly in the course of the race and our chance was gone. Now I'm hoping for a better qualifying result tomorrow and to round off my home race weekend in a more satisfactory way.'

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

'Congratulations to Dani on securing his maiden win in the DTM. He's a worthy winner. He's done a fantastic job throughout, but today, I would also like to take time to particularly thank everyone in the team for their terrific work. We had a lot of questions this morning as regards to the track and setup. Thanks to the team's efforts, though, we were able to stop scratching our heads and can now hold them up high, as we've extended our lead in the championship.'

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