DTM 2018: Spielberg – Race 2

The first title of this 2018 DTM season has already been won. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport head home from Spielberg as the new champions in the constructors' classification. However, the fight for the drivers' championship is still open before the season finale at Hockenheim. By taking third place, Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) narrowed the gap on overall leader Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) to just four points. Paul also collected vital points for fourth place. The Scot leads the drivers' standings with 229 to 225 points ahead of the Hockenheim season finale.

This was Gary's third podium at Spielberg, his ninth this season and the 47th of his DTM career. Earlier this weekend in the second qualifying session, the 2005 champion had taken his fifth pole of the season, his 17th in the DTM.

Two more Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM drivers finished in the points apart from the two title contenders. Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) came home sixth and Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) was tenth. Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) finished eleventh just outside the points.

Five-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) ended his second DTM race as a guest entrant in 17th position. Lucas Auer (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) retired from his home race with 15 minutes still on the clock.

One result was certain even before the race had been run: Mercedes-AMG are the new champions in the DTM constructors' classification! Gary's three points for pole and Paul's third place on the grid were enough to secure the win in the constructors' competition for the brand with the three-pointed star even before the third-last race of the season had started. Mercedes-AMG (865 points) have a lead of 302 points on BMW (563) ahead of the season finale at Hockenheim and as a result, cannot be caught in the last two races of the season.

This is the brand's seventh constructors' title win in its 30 years of contesting the DTM. Mercedes-AMG won their first DTM constructors' title in the 1991 season with six wins and 26 podium finishes. It was the brand's first title win since entering a works team in the 1988 season. Since then, Stuttgart and Affalterbach have secured the trophy for the most successful manufacturer in 1992, 1994, 1995, 2003, 2005 and now again in 2018.

Mercedes-AMG also clinched the team championship in the DTM for the first time in the 1991 season together with their first manufacturers' title. The team now lead this classification again this season as the last race weekend at Hockenheim approaches. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS (333 points) are 43 points ahead of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS (290 points). Team SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport (257 points) complete the Top Three in the team championship in the run-up to the finale. Thus, only one of the three Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Teams can still win the team title during the last race weekend of the season at Hockenheim.

The next race weekend: The finale of the 2018 DTM season will take place from 12th to 14th October with a home fixture for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport at Hockenheim. The two races will be the last in the race series for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport after 30 years in the DTM.

Comments after the Race

Gary Paffett (37, England):

  • P3
  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'It's going to be a fantastic fight in the season finale at Hockenheim. There are now only four points separating me and Paul, and René (Rast) is also getting ever closer. That's excellent for the DTM. It feels great to be heading for the finale still fully part of the battle for the title. Unfortunately, today's race did not go quite as we had hoped, despite starting from pole position. But I'm still happy about the championship situation, because I was able to gain some points on Paul. Now I'm looking forward to the finale at Hockenheim.'

Paul Di Resta (32, Scotland):

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

'That was a fairly average day from my perspective. I started from third place and finished fourth, which is never a good outcome. The battle with Gary was a lot of fun, especially as we are going head to head for the championship. But I'm obviously disappointed not to have been up there on the podium. My focus is now fully on the finale at Hockenheim.'

Pascal Wehrlein (23, Germany):

  • P6
  • Car number: 94
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'After yesterday's race, today was a lot better. The pace was there, but unfortunately I had no chance against the Audis in the race. My start was quite good, but I then lost two places going into Turn 3. Because we stopped relatively early, I had to go easy on my tyres in the second half and was unable to finish any further forward than sixth.'

Edoardo Mortara (31, Italy):

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

'For me, that was unfortunately a weekend to forget. As a result of yesterday's penalty, I was obliged to start from ninth today. So it was always going to be a difficult race for me right from the outset. I tried to do my best, but the car was hard to drive. Early on, I was able to stay in touch, but as soon as I got separated from the leaders, I was unable to get anything more out of the car.'

Daniel Juncadella (26, Spain):

  • P11
  • Car number: 23
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'All things considered, it was a good race. I didn't get off to the best of starts, so I lost some positions. After that, my pace was very good. Unfortunately, my pit stop didn't go all that smoothly, but I was able to store up enough DRS laps for the final sprint. That enabled me to attack Timo Glock in the battle for seventh place. Unfortunately, I struggled with the brakes and missed my braking point. As a result, I dropped out of the points. But I at least had to give it a try. Anyway, the race was fun.'

Sébastien Ogier (34, France):

  • P17
  • Car number: 17
  • Guest start
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'The race was a bit like yesterday, with the second half being better than the first. Unfortunately, I had some difficulties before the pit stop. My start was OK. I was driving very carefully so as not to make a mistake. I then realised that I had the pace to overtake other cars. Unfortunately, Augusto Farfus lost oil or some other fluid, so after that, my windscreen was smearing badly and the visibility was poor. I tried to clear it with the wipers, but that only made it worse. The second stint after my pit stop was OK, with the windscreen now having been cleaned, but I was behind Rocky, whom I was unable to challenge. However, I managed to find a steady rhythm and finish the race.'

Lucas Auer (24, Austria):

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

'That was obviously a disappointing end to my home race. The best aspect of the weekend was our pace. But it has to be remembered that there are four key moments on any DTM weekend - the two qualifyings and the two races. In three of them, we made mistakes, and today there was a technical problem. I feel very sorry for all the fans here, but it's all part of the sport. We carry on regardless.'

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

'We cannot be satisfied with today's result. It's extremely disappointing when you start with three cars in the Top Four and then only secure one podium in the end, especially in view of the fact that René Rast's win has enabled him to gain ground again on Paul and Gary. Not even today's win in the constructors' and team classification can make up for that. It's already abundantly clear that we've got a tough fight ahead of us at Hockenheim, and we'll have to prepare for that now.'

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