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Damage limitation in first race as the DTM returns to Budapest.

Felix Rosenqvist and Robert Wickens score points in Budapest.

Back in Budapest.

The DTM is back in Budapest: After a year’s break, the Hungaroring is playing host to the touring car series again this weekend for the third time. Mercedes-AMG DTM driver Felix Rosenqvist (FREE MEN’S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) came eighth in the first race at the Hungaroring, so the Swedish DTM rookie finished in the points for the second time at only his third race weekend. Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) moved up seven places on the first lap and finished the race in tenth position. Behind him, Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) crossed the finish line in eleventh place. Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Christian Vietoris (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished the 15th race of the season in P16 and P18 respectively. Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) booked P21 and Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) slotted into P23. Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) retired after a contact 20 minutes before the end of the race.

After the race weekend at the Nürburgring, the eight Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM touring cars were the heaviest in the field in first qualifying which plays such a crucial role on the twisty Hungaroring circuit. At 1,135 kg, they weighed 25 kilos more than the Audis and 17.5 kilograms more than the BMWs. For the first race, the BMW and the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team were able to offload five kilos, while the Audis were made five kilos heavier.

Best DTM result.

Felix Rosenqvist, P8: “At the start, I took quite a risk. I saw a gap and tried to squeeze in from behind. There were some pretty hard contacts with other cars, and my car may have sustained a bit of damage in the process. After that, I had a bit more understeer than I would normally have liked. Given the circumstances, it was a good race and I’m pleased with eighth place – my best ever DTM result. It gets better each time.“

Good overtaking manoeuvre.

Robert Wickens, P10: “Tenth place was probably the best we could do today in the race from 17th position on the grid. My goal was to finish in the points. Before the start, that seemed like an almost impossible task. Fortunately, I managed it. I finished the first lap in tenth place, which was great. Of course, it also helped me that I had some of my team-mates around me.

I kept out of the incidents and performed a good overtaking manoeuvre on Blomqvist to get into the points. We now need to find a little more speed for the second race.”

Difficult day.

Daniel Juncadella, P11: “A difficult day for our team. Audi were very strong, but I personally had a decent day. Qualifying went very well. Unfortunately, my lap wasn’t perfect, but I was relatively happy with it. In the race I got off to a mega start. Unfortunately, Timo Glock didn’t see me, and so I got forced out left on the straight. When I hit the grass, I obviously lost grip. On Turn 2, though, I had some luck and managed to gain a few positions. Then I found myself behind Robert and had quite good race pace. So I am reasonably satisfied with that.”

Gamble in qualifying.

Lucas Auer, P16: “We took a bit of a gamble in qualifying by maybe not taking enough risks and were punished for it. However, our speed was good, so we can look forward to tomorrow. The race itself was great fun. I steadily pushed forwards, but in the DTM, driving up the field to the very front from so far back isn’t easy. Still, I’m happy with the race.”

A good car and a good performance.

Christian Vietoris, P18: “A good car and a good performance. In the race, we were making good progress. Unfortunately, Farfus pushed me out wide on Turn 2. Consequently, I had to follow everyone round on the outside and lost ten places as a result.

After that, I tried to battle my way through the field. In the process, I pulled off a cool passing move against Ekström and Farfus towards the end of the race.”

Tough race.

Gary Paffett, P21: “It was obvious right from the outset that it would be a tough race given our grid position. My start was okay, but I had a contact with Spengler in the first corner which cost me quite a few positions. After that, several cars spun in front of me in Turn 2 and I had to avoid them, losing me even more places. Unfortunately, our car was not quick enough today. We need to work on it for tomorrow.”

Slot at the rear of the grid.

Maximilian Götz, P23: “Unfortunately, I seem to have booked a slot at the rear of the grid for this weekend, which is obviously disappointing. I certainly wasn’t expecting that. But we’ve been struggling with the car since yesterday. The balance simply isn’t right yet. The track is also new territory for me, which doesn’t make it any easier. We now have to see what we can change for tomorrow so that we do better.”

Suspension broke.

Paul Di Resta, retired: “We had to take the car out of the race, unfortunately. Apparently, something broke on the suspension. The car was undriveable at any rate. In such a case, safety naturally takes precedence. Overall, it was a tough day. Now we’ll have to get everything ready for tomorrow and then do our best again.”

Damage limitation.

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “There’s not much to say about today. Two Mercedes in the Top-10 means that we’ve at least limited the damage. More was not possible. We’ll now have to see that tomorrow goes better for us again.”

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