DTM - Hockenheim I: Race 1.
The Mercedes-AMG DTM Team began the new 2015 DTM season with two podiums. Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished second and third respectively, achieving podiums in what constitutes a home race for Mercedes-Benz. This was Wehrlein’s second podium finish in the DTM after his victory at the Lausitzring last season. Di Resta has secured 22 podiums in all. Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished the race in P14 and P16. Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) were involved in a collision through no fault of their own and had to abandon the race. Spain’s Daniel Juncadella (PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) had also had to retire early on.
Canadian Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) made a good start but was forced to retire to the pits after the first lap with damage to the suspension. His car was so badly damaged after a number of contacts with other vehicles that he was unable to continue the race.
Good start to the season.
Pascal Wehrlein, P2: “That was definitely a good start to the season. Second place in qualifying and another P2 in the first race. Things have gone well for me, so far. Of course, I would have preferred to win, but I lost position early in the race and then was third. I knew things would be tough at the start, because I was on used tyres. I was fast towards the end, though, so I took P2 back again”
Paul Di Resta, P3: “I got off to a great start. It was a bit tight on Turn 4, but after that, things went well. Pascal and I had good speed, and we were able to match the race leader for pace. Over the last few laps, I was having some problems with my brakes, but a podium is a good way to start the season. All the hard work of recent months has paid off, and it’s something we can build on. Many thanks to the team, who have worked so hard to achieve this success.”
Christian Vietoris, P14: “That was a tough day. P18 in qualifying was not a good starting position for Race 1, but the first 30 minutes were quite decent. I got off the line well, gaining a lot of ground. I then had one or two nice battles with Bruno Spengler, Augusto Farfus and Mattias Ekström. My re-start after the second safety car period was good, and I went up into P7 or 8. Then, unfortunately, I was spun by another car and my race was over.”
Maximilian Götz, P16: “My first DTM race was red hot. It was stormy at times and there was some really forceful driving. The DRS worked really well – it meant I was able to get past several cars. After the restart,
I was in twelfth position, but then someone spun me round. That was unfortunate, because it bumped me down to last place and I wasn’t able to do any more overtaking. Anyway, I’m now looking forward to the second race.”
Lucas Auer, retired: “My first day racing in the DTM was a bit tough. My race pace was good, though, and it was fun until I had to retire. I increased my performance gradually.
Too bad that I couldn’t finish my debut race.”
Not a happy day.
Gary Paffett, retired: “Not a happy day for me, unfortunately. I had to start the race from the back, but my pace was fine. I fought my way up into twelfth place and put a good manoeuvre over on Martin Tomczyk. He lost the car in the hairpin on the next lap and hit me.”
Daniel Juncadella, retired: “A disappointing race for me. I had a contact with another car on the first lap in the first turn. After that, I just tried to get the car across the finish line.
Unfortunately, I then lost it in turn nine. However, we were well down the field at that point. Here’s to a new beginning in the second race tomorrow.”
Robert Wickens, retired: “It’s a shame, but something like that can happen when you start so far down the field. It was nothing serious, just minor contacts with Timo Glock. A spot of bad luck. I had a puncture, and it was all over. My start was good, but I couldn’t continue. Definitely a day to forget.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes DTM: “With two of our drivers on the podium, I certainly think we are entitled to talk of a good start to the new season. The team has been rewarded for all the hard work that was put in over the winter months. Pascal and Paul drove a great race. But it’s really annoying that we lost so many cars through no fault of our own. The crew is now going to be very busy getting the cars back in shape for tomorrow.
I suspect that tomorrow’s race will be a similarly hard-fought contest.”