DTM Qualifying: round 1, Hockenheim.
I’m still optimistic about the race.
DTM starts its 30th anniversary season this weekend with a home race for Mercedes-Benz at Hockenheim. 2005 DTM champion Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé)) posted a lap time of 1:32.834 minutes in the second segment of qualifying and will thus start the first race of the season from grid position 15. „Unfortunately, the first qualifying of the season turned out to be a disappointment for me“, said Gary. „We haven’t found the perfect balance for the car yet and the setup still offers plenty of scope for cutting down on our lap times. After the winter tests, it was impossible to know, where we stood in relation to our opponents. Well, today we’ve seen where we are, so now we have to work hard on raising our game as fast as possible. I got as much out of the car as I could, but the DTM is such an evenly matched series
that a deficit of just half a second in Q2 puts you back in P15. It shows what a high-powered series the DTM is. If we can just find a few tenths, we’ll be a lot further forward. So although qualifying was disappointing, I’m still optimistic about the race itself – points are a distinct possibility.“
Rookie and former champion.
Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) booked 16th place with a time of 1:32.840 minutes. Making his return to the DTM, Paul Di Resta (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:33.639 minutes) will start from position 19 in his first DTM race since winning the title in 2010. Fellow Mercedes drivers Daniel Juncadella (Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1: 33.746 minutes), Robert Wickens (FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:33.875 minutes), Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé Coupé / 1:34.242 minutes) and DTM rookie Vitaly Petrov (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:34.367 minutes) will start the race from grid positions 20 to 23 respectively.
We are all fighters.
„Our congratulations to Audi and Adrien Tambay on securing their first pole position of the season – an impressive feat“, said Wolfgang Schattling, Head of DTM Management. „Qualifying was disappointing for us, unfortunately, and there’s nothing good to say about it. We need to greatly improve our car and our performance. Gary and Pascal achieved the maximum today. Now we must analyse qualifying to find out why we lost time, especially in the third sector where there are lots of turns.
It’s difficult to judge what will be possible for us in the race, but this much is certain: we will not throw in the towel. We are all fighters and will mount an all-out attack tomorrow. It won’t be easy, but we will not give up.“