Hockenheim II: Analysis
Mercedes-Benz has enjoyed a perfect outcome to its home fixture at Hockenheim. The successful weekend started on Saturday with Mercedes-AMG DTM driver Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM) wrapping up the drivers’ championship, one race before the end of the season, and was nicely rounded off with confirmation of the team title for gooix/Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG on Sunday. Around 135,000 fans of the world’s most popular touring car series came through the gates at Hockenheim to watch the last two rounds of the 2015 DTM season. Among them was MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS driver Nico Rosberg, whose Silver Arrow works team had taken their second successive F1 constructors’ world championship one week earlier.
DTM Champion 2015: Pascal Wehrlein
The prospective champion – the youngest in the history of the competition – faced a tough challenge on Saturday. Twenty-four hours ahead of his 21st birthday, the points leader qualified relatively far back in 13th place for the 40-minute race. His two closest rivals, Edoardo Mortara in P9 and Mattias Ekström in P7 were, however, within reach. At the start, Wehrlein initially fell back two places but was then able to work his way steadily forward. By Lap 10, he was into a points-scoring position for the first time. He then overtook Maximilian Götz on Lap 18 before catching and passing BMW driver António Félix da Costa on the third-to-last lap.
“You can’t be too pleased until you’re sure of the result,” said Wehrlein who, despite his lead in the overall standings, didn’t want to take anything for granted. “It’s all over very quickly, especially in the DTM, but all the pressure fell away from me after crossing the finish line. It’s just mega. Thanks to the whole team for their superb work this season. I had a fast car today and was also able to prove it towards the end of the race.”
Over the course of the race, he gained five positions to finish ahead of his two main pursuers in the title fight, a result that meant he could not longer be caught on the final day of the season. In his championship campaign, Wehrlein scored 169 points, won two races and made five podium appearances. Wehrlein’s record of 15 Top Ten finishes in 18 races made him the most consistent points scorer in the entire field. “Pascal has driven an incredibly good season and is a worthy champion, the youngest in the history of the series,” said Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM Ulrich Fritz by way of congratulation.
DTM Team Champions 2015
In addition to the drivers’ title, Mercedes-AMG also won this season’s team championship. Team gooix/Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG with its driver line-up of Pascal Wehrlein and Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) scored a total of 225 points, 19 more than the runners-up in this class.
It was in the sixth race of the season, the traditional highlight at the Norisring in Nuremberg, that the team moved up into the top spot which they then successfully defended right through to the end. During the course of the 18-race campaign, the team claimed two wins, one pole position, six podiums and 21 points finishes.
Paul Di Resta: Two Top Four results at Hockenheim
Two fourth places in two races: Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG DTM C 63) put in a strong display of speed in both races at Hockenheim, but especially on Sunday when he made good seven positions after starting from P11 on the grid. At one point, he was even in line for the third podium spot.
“I have to be relatively happy with the result,” said Di Resta after crossing the finish line. The former DTM champion (2010) got off to a solid start and immediately moved up the field by four places. Consequently, he was up to seventh after only one lap. By the time the Scot came in for the mandatory pit stop on Lap 12, he had battled his way up to sixth place. He later moved up to fourth place, holding on to the position between Laps 16 and 21, and when Edoardo Mortara came into the pits, he was temporarily in with a chance of a podium finish until the Italian retook the position on Lap 26.
“We finished on a high, and I’m very confident that we will be in the title hunt next year,” said Di Resta. “ Now I’m going to enjoy this winter break and hope to come back a bit stronger.”
Stars & Cars 2015: End-of-season event in Stuttgart
The next highlight on the German motorsport calendar is on Saturday 12th December, shortly after the grand finale to the Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi. That’s when Mercedes-Benz will be staging its close-of-season party – the traditional Stars & Cars. In attendance will be all eight Mercedes-AMG DTM drivers and the two Silver Arrow Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Together with a guest list of celebrities, fans can enjoy all the entertainment and an action-packed programme in the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart.