DTM 2018: Zandvoort – Race 2

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport head home from Zandvoort after having taken five out of six possible podium finishes from the weekend that marks the mid-point in the 2018 DTM season. Following the success in locking out the podium and securing the top four positions on Saturday, the team achieved two podiums in Sunday's tenth race of the season. British driver Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) followed up his 23rd DTM victory on Saturday with a P2 finish today. This is the sixth time that he's claimed a podium at Zandvoort and brings his total haul of finishes in the Top Three in the DTM to 44. He took pole position for the second time this weekend, increasing his number of pole positions in the DTM to 15. As a result, a Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM was on pole for the start of the tenth race of the season for the eighth time this year. Also, the team have won at least one race at all five race weekends held so far this year.

Gary's team-mate, Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) joined him on the podium for the award ceremony for the second time this weekend. This was the Scottish driver's 34th podium in the DTM, his third this season and third at Zandvoort. The team increased their total of podiums to 17 this season at the track in the dunes, notching up their 553rd podium in the 30 years that the brand has been contesting the DTM.

All in all, five Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM drivers achieved a points-scoring finish in the second race at Zandvoort. Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS), Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) and Lucas Auer (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) rounded off a strong result for the team by finishing sixth, eighth and ninth respectively. Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) was twelfth.

Following the tenth race of the twenty in total to be held this season, Gary (148 points) now has a 27-point lead in the drivers' standings on Paul Di Resta (121 points) in second place. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport (547 points) are in first place in the constructors' classification with a lead of 189 points on BMW (358 points). Team Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS (213 points) and Team SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport (186 points) occupy the top two places in the team competition.

The next race weekend: Teams and drivers will be heading to Brands Hatch in the UK to get the second half of the 2018 DTM season underway on the weekend of 11th/12th August.

Comments after the Race

Gary Paffett (37, England):

  • P2
  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'I'm really happy - that was an almost perfect weekend for me. Two pole positions, a win and a second place - you can hardly ask for more. René deserved the win today. He was unlucky yesterday with the safety car and had good pace this weekend. When he was behind me on the grid today, I knew that he was going to be a tough opponent. They took a risk with the early pit stop, but the tyres held up, and it was enough for them. The first half of the season has been incredible. Things have not always gone perfectly for us, but we are leading the championship, and so far, I am mega happy with the performance. I'm really grateful to my team for that. Next up is my home race at Brands Hatch. I'm looking forward to it.'

Paul Di Resta (32, Scotland):

  • P3
  • Car number: 3
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'It has been a solid weekend. Today, I was blocked in quali and had the slowest time of anybody in sector three. We should have been P2, which would have made my life a bit easier, but we had a very good strategy. That was a great job: two podiums, and we go away very happy. Credit to the guys on my crew and how we handled it. We obviously lost ground on the top of the championship but at least consolidated our second place today. We're only at the midway point of this championship, and consistency always pays off in the end. In that regard, we are well in contention. I'm ready to carry on the fight at the tracks that are coming up, some of which I really love and where I usually have quite decent results. It's a nice position to be in going into the summer break.'

Pascal Wehrlein (23, Germany):

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

'Sixth place means I've scored a few more points, which is great. The race itself, though, didn't go quite the way I would have liked, unfortunately. The difference between my position at the start of the race and the place where I came out after my pit stop was too great. It's a pity that I lost so many places, but I'm pleased to have been on the pace this weekend. However, I'm also a bit disappointed, because at no point during the weekend was I able to achieve the maximum.'

Edoardo Mortara (31, Italy):

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

'Unfortunately, that was a weekend to forget from my perspective. Yesterday I had technical problems in qualifying and then in the race as well. Starting from last on the grid, there were never going to be any points in it anyway. In the second of the two qualis today, I at least came in the Top Ten and scored a few points for a P8 finish. After the strong weekend at the Norisring, though, this is only a minor consolation.'

Lucas Auer (23, Austria):

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

I gained as a result of a couple of incidents that happened up ahead of me. A P9 finish doesn't sound too bad, but how that came about was by no means great. I occasionally found an opening where I was able to slip through and just went for it, which was good. Aside from that, though, we'll have to analyse our race data and do better next time. All in all, my pace has been decent for most of the first half of the season. We must now bring all the various elements together in the race and then I see no reason why I shouldn't have a strong season second half.'

Daniel Juncadella (26, Spain):

  • P12
  • Car number: 23
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

'The race was going well for me in the early stages. I came in for my pit stop on Lap 2 and it went very well - thanks to my guys for a great job. After that, my pace was really strong, and I was having fun overtaking other cars. At that point, I was looking good for a P4 or a P5 finish, but then I noticed that my rear tyres were completely worn out. I couldn't make any further progress on them. Between now and the next race weekend, we need to analyse why that happened.'

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

'All in all, the Zandvoort weekend has been fantastic for us. Yesterday, we monopolised the Top Four, and today we had a double podium. What's more, we've been able to consolidate our lead in all three championships at this halfway point in the season. Obviously, we would have liked to come away with the win today, but overtaking on this track is extremely difficult. Gary definitely did the right thing: he didn't try to crowbar his way through but drove a steady race to make sure of second place. Anyway, hats off to René Rast for his performance today. He managed his tyres incredibly well and is a worthy winner.'

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