DTM 2018: Spielberg – Race 1

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport went through the whole gamut of emotions as they got the penultimate race weekend of the 2018 DTM season underway at Spielberg. To begin with, Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) secured his third DTM pole in qualifying and was first across the finish line in an exciting race that took place on a drying track. Daniel had led the race for a long time but received a drive-through penalty for transgressing the regs during the re-start shortly before the end of the race. That penalty was subsequently converted into a 30-second time penalty. As a result, he was bumped back down the field into 14th place.

His team-mate Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) ended the race in fourth place to reclaim the lead in the drivers' standings. Paul has a nine-point lead on his fellow Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM driver, Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS), after 17 out of 20 races so far this season.

Lucas Auer (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) finished his home fixture at Spielberg in P6. His team-mate Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) came home in ninth place but also received a drive-through penalty after the race had ended. His penalty was also subsequently converted into a 30-second penalty, dropping him down into 16th place.

Gary Paffett fell back to the rear of the field after a chaotic opening lap and a contact with Bruno Spengler (BMW) to cross the line in tenth place. Sébastien Ogier (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) finished 12th ahead of Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) as he made his DTM debut.

Apart from leading the drivers' standings, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport still head the team and constructors' rankings in the DTM. Team Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS (307 points) are in first place with a lead of 30 points on Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS (277 points). In the constructors' classification, Mercedes-AMG (825 points) have a 280-point lead on BMW (545 points).

Looking ahead to race 2: The 18th round of the 2018 DTM season starts on Sunday at 13:30 CEST (live on SAT.1 at 13:00 CEST). Third practice will take place before that at 08:30 CEST followed by the second qualifying at 10:35 CEST.

Comments after the Race

Paul Di Resta (32, Scotland):

  • P4
  • Car number: 3
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'There was a lot of confusion today on the drying track, but it was obvious that it would be a tough race. At one point, it looked worse than it actually was. Towards the end, I was in a good position for the re-start but got caught out by a slow start, which, unfortunately, also cost Dani the win. The change of position at the end, unfortunately, had a bigger influence than we would have liked. Still, tomorrow is a new day, and there's no reason to be too disappointed with fourth place.'

Lucas Auer (24, Austria):

  • P6
  • Car number: 22
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'My speed was extremely good today. Unfortunately, we lost the race in the pits. But we win and lose together - tomorrow is a new day, and then, we'll attack again in the second race.'

Gary Paffett (37, England):

  • P10
  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'We were fast in the rain, but unfortunately, we didn't have the right setup for the end of the session in qualifying. Things looked good initially, but we were unable to extract anymore from our tyres towards the end and only finished tenth as a result. Of course, that was a lot further back compared to where we should have been. The track was still wet at the start of the race. Bruno Spengler pushed me off track in the first turn and hit me and Duval in Turn 3. After that, my car was badly damaged, and I fell back to the of the field. When your car gets badly damaged, it's impossible to push forwards. All in all, a very disappointing day.'

Sébastien Ogier (34, France):

  • P12
  • Car number: 17
  • Gaststarter
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'There was a lot happening during my first race day in the DTM. Variable weather conditions made for a tough start to my first DTM race weekend. Still, I got away safely off the line and gradually increased my pace. The second stint went pretty well for me, and I can use everything that was positive in tomorrow's race.'

Pascal Wehrlein (23, Germany):

  • P13
  • Car number: 94
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'Obviously, starting from 18th on the grid wasn't ideal. As a result, it was clear from the outset that it would be tough. I had a few scraps during the course of the race and booked 13th place. Unfortunately, today wasn't our day. Now, I'm hoping to have a more successful race tomorrow after a better qualifying.'

Daniel Juncadella (26, Spain):

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

'I just don't know what to say, I still don't understand the reason why I received a penalty. I wasn't driving too slowly but doing around 80 km/h - the speed you should drive during a safety car re-start. It's a pity I lost my second DTM victory as a result. I'm especially sorry for the guys, as they did a great job. The car was excellent and I had a really great race. I made a mistake at the start and lost a place, but I got it back and had a lot of fun in the race. My pit stop was perfect, but it just wasn't meant to be today.'

Edoardo Mortara (31, Italy):

  • P16
  • Car number: 48
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'I started the race from 17th place and was able to fight my way up into 6th place by the end. I was forced off track by a couple of cars and had some contact as a result. I was then finally penalised twice, getting a drive-through penalty and a warning.'

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

'We had a very eventful race today with lots of scraps. It was a roller-coaster of emotions for us. The start of the race was not very encouraging, as Gary was involved in a few incidents and suddenly ended up at the back of the field. Dani also lost the lead briefly but regained it with some great driving. Things then actually went well for us until the safety car restart. Unfortunately, it seems Dani then made a mistake and lost the win at the last moment. The fact that Mike Rockenfeller also waved René Rast through makes the result even more disappointing. Unfortunately, today was a bad-hair day.'

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