Double podium for Christian Vietoris and Paul Di Resta at DTM finale in Hockenheim.
The Mercedes-AMG DTM Team rounded off the 2016 DTM season with two podiums at Hockenheim on Sunday in front of 142,000 spectators (over the weekend). Christian Vietoris (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) took second and third place respectively in this home fixture for Mercedes-AMG. After Zandvoort, this was the second podium finish of the season for Vietoris. Di Resta secured a podium for the fourth time this year. He won the second race of the season opener at Hockenheim. Five different Mercedes-AMG DTM drivers finished on the podium this year, three of them as winners. Robert Wickens also finished in the points in the season finale by placing ninth. The Canadian achieved five podium places during his fifth DTM season, including wins in Zandvoort and Moscow. Gary Paffett lined up in P2 on the grid and was second initially behind BMW driver Antonio Felix da Costa. After challenging hard for the lead, Paffett made contact with Felix da Costa in one of the scraps and was given a drive-through penalty. He subsequently dropped back to the rear of the field. After achieving podiums in Zandvoort and Moscow, he finished his 14th DTM season in P15 at Hockenheim. Austrian driver Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) crossed the line directly behind Paffett in 16th place to end his second DTM season. During the year, he achieved two pole positions and two podium places, including his maiden win in the DTM at the Lausitzring.
Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) took the chequered flag in P19 in the last race of the season. DTM newcomer Felix Rosenqvist (FREE MEN’S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) retired with just eight minutes to go before the end of the race but was nevertheless ranked 21st. Shortly afterwards, Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) also had to park up his car before the finish because it was too badly damaged. The Spanish driver placed 20th in view of the distance covered.
Christian Vietoris, P2: “Great race, great end to the year. It’s nice to finish the year on a high after a tough season full of ups and downs. The points lost at the Lausitzring, at the Norisring and in Zandvoort really hurt, for sure. Whilst you wouldn’t think so from looking at the standings, this has been my best DTM season so far, so that gives us a solid foundation on which to fight for the title next year.”
Paul Di Resta, P3: “Today was a very productive day. Qualifying was very difficult due to the traffic, but the team gave me a good car. Thanks a lot for this. We’ve had our high points this year, but unfortunately we’ve also suffered some bitter setbacks. All the same, it’s a nice feeling to be going into the winter break after securing a podium. We know that we have a long to-do list, but I’m part of the Mercedes-AMG family and it is important that we know what our objectives are and what we can achieve in the future.
For the moment, I’m looking forward to the celebrations tonight, but the work for the new season will begin tomorrow morning.”
Robert Wickens, P9: “That wasn’t the end of the season that we deserved. I’m happy that I ultimately came fourth in the championship. This is a good performance, but we had enough speed today to compete for a podium. Unfortunately, various things happened at the start of the race which meant I had to defend my position for the whole of the first stint rather than going on the attack. That cost me a lot of places. P9 means yet another points finish. It was never going to be any better than that today. Now I’m hoping that we will come back stronger next year.”
Gary Paffett, P15: “What a disappointing race! I got a good start and was in second place behind Antonio Felix da Costa. I was much faster than him and tried to overtake, using DRS. We were wheel-to-wheel when he turned in, forcing me to run wide. On the next lap in Turn 8, I made to pass on the inside, but he braked very early and turned in again. I made contact with the rear of his car and was given a drive-through penalty. All in all, it’s a real shame, because we’ve worked so hard to achieve success this year.
It’s disappointing to end the season like this when a win should have been possible today.”
Lucas Auer, P16: “Yesterday was a difficult day when we essentially had too little pace. Qualifying was okay today, and so was the start of the race.
After that, I was in or around P10, when another driver pushed me wide. I made some progress towards the end, but that was the best we could do in the circumstances.”
Disappointing end to the season.
Maximilian Götz, P19: “This season has been fair to middling for me, but I would now like to take the opportunity to thank my mechanics and the whole team for all their hard work. At least the season ended on a satisfactory note for the team today thanks to the two podiums secured by Chris and Paul but of course I thought the weekend would turn out quite differently. Saturday went reasonably well for me compared to my team-mates, but I lost a lot of time today in qualifying and in the race. We’ll now have to look carefully into that.
As a result, this has been a disappointing end to the season for me. Nothing went right in the race. The pit stop was great, but that doesn’t help when you’re down on speed.”
Daniel Juncadella, retired (classified P20): “That was a rather odd weekend for me. I’d expected much more in qualifying. Unfortunately, I hit a lot of traffic on my lap today and then had to start from behind, which is always tricky. I got a mega start again and was 14th after a couple of laps. However, my car was quite badly damaged from being involved in several scraps. That’s why I had to pit just before the end and retire. My car was simply too badly damaged to continue. Not a great end to the season but I’m very pleased with how the last three or four weekends have gone.”
Felix Rosenqvist, retired (classified P21): “The first few laps of the race were characterised by a lot of wheel-to-wheel action. I moved up the field by around five places. The situation kept changing. After that, I had good race pace and managed to get past three cars. When it was my turn to pit, I was behind Robert just outside the Top-10. Unfortunately, we lost some time because of a problem with a wheel gun. So I had to battle my way forward again. When I caught up with Martin in the fight for P10, my engine suddenly started to misfire and it gradually got worse and worse. This was also the reason why I had to park the car.
Two retirements on a single weekend are not exactly ideal, but the speed was there throughout. So that’s one positive aspect that I can take into the winter break.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “A double podium to round off the season – that’s what we were hoping for. A big thank-you to the whole team for the superb work over the last few months. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to secure us a title, but luck was rarely on our side this year. Tomorrow is the first day of the new season. We’ll do everything we can to come back stronger than ever in 2017.”