DTM 2018: Budapest – Race 2

There was a moment of shock-horror in the DTM shortly after the start of the sixth race of the season at the Hungaroring. The second round at Budapest was stopped after a quarter of an hour's racing following several incidents in the pit lane. The stoppage was the result of a number of unrelated accidents in the rain-hit pit lane, involving cars driven by Lucas Auer and Edoardo Mortara. Three people were injured and taken to hospital for treatment. According to information received initially at the time, a marshal suffered severe leg injuries and two more people were injured but not too seriously. There followed a long break in proceedings, after which the race was restarted at 2:20 pm for 28 minutes plus one lap.

Lucas Auer had started the race in dry conditions from pole position. However, rain began to fall shortly after the start, becoming heavier during the initial laps, and more and more drivers came into the pits to change from slicks to wet-weather tyres as a result of the conditions. A number of drivers were unable to keep their cars under control on the wet track in the pit lane while running slicks and could not slow down to make the pit stop.

The final race result was seriously affected by the tempestuous initial stages of the race with early pit stops, the onset of rain, and the temporary stoppage after the accidents in the pits and subsequent re-start. The six Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM drivers had all been in the Top Six at the start of the race.

Three of them ultimately finished in the Top Ten: Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS), Lucas Auer (Mercedes Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport SILBERPFEIL) and Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) came home in fifth, ninth and tenth place respectively. Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) and Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) had led the race for a time after the re-start but booked P14 and 16 after their mandatory pit stops. Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) finished the race in 18th place.

Gary is in second place in the drivers' standings after the first six races of the season, eleven points down on BMW driver Timo Glock (90 points). Mercedes-AMG (297 points) still have a 57-point lead on BMW (240 points) in the constructors' championship.

Looking ahead to the next race weekend: The fourth race weekend of the 2018 DTM season will be held at Nuremberg's legendary Norisring from 22nd to 24th June.

Comments after the Race

Paul Di Resta (32, Scotland):

  • P5
  • Car number: 3
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'Firstly, I hope everyone is okay after the issues at the pit stops. After such a promising qualifying for the brand, we were left trying to salvage something after the red flag. We maximised that, but as a manufacturer of course, you have to be a bit disappointed because we didn't capitalise on everything we had. But hey, that's racing. There are highs and lows. We've had a super car for the last three rounds, and that gives us fighting spirit going forward that we are championship contenders. Hopefully we can carry the momentum with us.'

Lucas Auer (23, Austria):

  • P9
  • Car number: 22
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'After the incident at the pit stop, sadly, my heart wasn't in the race anymore. Sure, I still finished, but all I wanted to know was how the two race marshals are doing. I didn't care about anything else. There are two different types of surface in the pit lane, and I was already coming in as slowly as possible. But I couldn't steer anymore, so I just slid straight ahead into the collision. At that moment, I was only a passenger in the car. This kind of thing cannot be allowed to happen again.'

Edoardo Mortara (31, Italy):

  • P10
  • Car number: 48
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'What a race... As I just told my mechanics, I was lucky that our pit stop didn't have an even worse outcome. I hit the pit equipment at maybe 40 or 50 km/h, and thankfully nobody was injured. I'm glad about that, because it could all have ended very badly today and there would have been nothing I could have done about it. As I entered the pit lane, it was under water and there was an ambulance and marshals everywhere. As soon as I touched the brake pedal ever so lightly, the wheels locked up and I just drove straight towards the mechanics and the pit equipment. After an incident of this kind, the race result today is of absolutely no consequence. I'm just glad that nothing happened to any of my mechanics in this incident, and I am very sorry that things didn't work out quite so well for the marshal with the broken leg. I wish him a speedy recovery.'

Daniel Juncadella (26, Spain):

  • P14
  • Car number: 23
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'Looking at today from a purely sporting perspective, I was once again completely out of luck. It was the right decision to stay out in the rain. The grip did not feel all that bad. But then we had the incidents in the pit lane, and that virtually put paid to the chances of Pascal, Gary and myself. The track dried up during the break and, unlike us, almost all the other drivers had already made their mandatory stops. It was a shame, because the car was very good and it was very enjoyable to be leading the field.'

Pascal Wehrlein (23, Germany):

  • P16
  • Car number: 94
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'The most important thing today is that all those injured make a speedy recovery. There's not much to say about the race itself. I'm just very disappointed with the result, but I can't change it, and so, I'm now looking ahead to the future. We've got a great team and a terrific car. Many thanks to the guys for all their hard work. We've seen today just how dangerous their job actually is.'

Gary Paffett (37, England):

  • P18
  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'That was a perfect qualifying from the whole team. I myself didn't have the best lap, but I felt pretty happy with starting in P5. In the race, the cars were in great shape and very strong in the dry. After the start, it was all under control, but then the rain came, and when it rains, it really is unpredictable what's going to happen. Obviously, we were the big losers in the situation because we didn't pit before the safety car and the red flag. To be honest this pit lane is too dangerous - it's over the limit. You can't even make a pit stop in the wet here. As we hadn't made our stop before the restart, we had no chance of scoring any points from there on. We fitted wets just to see if some of the track was wet, which might have enabled us to pull something back, but unfortunately that was not the case.'

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

'After incidents like the ones we've seen today, the sporting outcome is obviously of secondary importance. We wish all the injured a rapid recovery. At the start of the race, it looked like we were in for a fabulous result today. The first six positions were all occupied by our Mercedes cars. But then we had the sequence of accidents in the pit lane. This completely turned the field upside down. We had decided before the race that we weren't going to bring any of our drivers in early, because we wanted them all to have an equal chance of victory. After the level of performance we have been putting in all weekend, it's a bitter disappointment to come away virtually empty-handed. But that too is part of motorsport. What it can't take away is our strong result of yesterday and the recognition that we have a great car and a strong team. We'll now be looking to come back with a vengeance at the Norisring.'

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