DTM: Lucas Auer second in second race at Nürburgring.
Successful Sunday for birthday boy Lucas Auer at the Nürburgring. The Austrian came home in second place to finish on the podium in front of 72,500 spectators (over the weekend). Auer maintained his good form during qualifying in the Eifel and secured his fourth pole position in the DTM and his third at the Nürburgring to celebrate his 22nd birthday. He is the first driver since the introduction of the new racing format last season to achieve two best times in qualifying in a single race weekend. Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) also finished in the points in this 14th race of the DTM season. Paffett improved from eleventh on the grid to seventh position. Juncadella crossed the finish line in P9. Paffett improved from eleventh on the grid to seventh position despite a spin after a no-fault collision with Jamie Green (Audi). Juncadella crossed the finish line in P9.
Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM), Christian Vietoris (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Felix Rosenqvist (FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C6 3 DTM) booked places 14, 18 and 19 respectively. In the general standings, Robert Wickens on 120 points is in third position with four races left to be run this season. Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) crossed the finish line in P23. Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) retired with a steering problem just after the start following a contact in the first turn.
Lucas Auer (22, Austria), P2: “Pole position again and second place in the race – a great way for me to celebrate my birthday. Early on, I had to defend hard against the BMW. I gave it everything I’d got and stayed ahead. After that, I even managed to pull out a small lead over Marco Wittmann, and I thought it would be enough. But then Edoardo Mortara came flying on fresh tyres. I had no chance against that. All the same, I’m happy with second place. It’s a great result for our team.”
Gary Paffett (35, England), P7: “Today was a better day than yesterday. Qualifying went okay. P11 wasn’t too bad in view of the extra performance weights. I made an excellent start in the race and gained a couple of positions. It went really well for me after that, and I was on target to take P4 or 5. But then, Jamie Green came out of the pits and attacked me from way back down the field, unfortunately. He made me spin and that cost me two or three places.
P7 is a good result in the circumstances, but more was possible.”
Daniel Juncadella (25, Spain), P9: “That was a decent day from my perspective. Qualifying didn’t go perfectly, but a Top Ten position on the grid is OK. In the race, I again had a mega start, but unfortunately Jamie left me no space going into the first corner. Consequently, two of my wheels went onto the grass, and although I had gained two places at the start, I lost them again on the first lap. My pace in the race was OK, though. For that, I would like to thank the guys on my team who have developed the car in the right direction.”
Weekend to forget.
Robert Wickens (27, Canada), P14: “Unfortunately, that was a weekend to forget from my perspective, but congratulations to Lucas. He’s been on good form all weekend. We must now carefully analyse my performance to ensure that we do better once again in Budapest. I didn’t have the pace in the race to finish in the points.
I had some contact with other cars towards the end, but that didn’t change the final result. I had to fight to try and place in the Top Ten somehow or other, but unfortunately, I didn’t succeed. So overall, a very disappointing weekend for me. We must now go on the offensive again in Budapest.”
Waste of a weekend.
Christian Vietoris (27, Germany), P18: “Unfortunately, that was a waste of a weekend. It started well on Friday and Saturday morning, but somehow, we lost performance after that. We now need to analyse what caused it.”
Felix Rosenqvist (24, Sweden), P19: “My start was better than yesterday’s. I’ve definitely improved compared to my first DTM race. I was around eleventh before my pit stop. Then unfortunately, there was an unsafe release and I failed to see Martin. That was a bit of bad luck. I let him pass but still got a drive-through penalty. My race was over after that, but my pace was okay.
Although the result wasn’t what I wanted in the end, I think that I did better than in the previous fixture, which makes me feel confident about the upcoming races.”
Race to forget.
Maximilian Götz (30, Germany), P23: “My start and the first lap were good – I managed to gain a couple of positions. After that, I had a tough fight on my hands with Rockenfeller and Felix da Costa. My race was over, unfortunately, after the five-second penalty. It’s generally quite tricky to move very far up the field when you’re behind. Also, my car was damaged from the many contacts – full of gremlins. Overall, a race to forget as far as I’m concerned, unfortunately.”
Paul Di Resta (30, Scotland), Retired: “That was a tough day today. Timo Scheider was on the inside at the start but drove quite a wide line, which meant I couldn’t turn in. Then his wheels locked and he went straight on, hitting me in the process. I had Timo Glock on the other side, so there was no room for an evasive manoeuvre – you can’t have three cars going into the same corner.
So it was all rather unfortunate.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “That was a strong performance from Lucas – he did a great job today. Towards the end, though, Edoardo Mortara was on fresher tyres and simply faster. Overall, we cannot be satisfied with the way this weekend’s gone. As regards to the championship, we’ve suffered a sobering setback. But there are still four races left, which means there are 100 points up for grabs.”