DTM: Paul Di Resta on podium at Norisring.
Exciting start to the first DTM race at the Norisring: Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished on the podium in third place. Christian Vietoris (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) were on course for a one-two win when they were taken out in a no-fault collision. Christian Vietoris led the race from pole position. His Mercedes-AMG DTM team-mate Robert Wickens moved up two places at the start and was behind Vietoris in second place. Towards the middle of the race, Audi driver Mattias Ekström launched an attack on the pair in the lead, shot through on the inside into the first corner, hitting first the car driven by Wickens and then the BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM of Vietoris, who dropped way down the field as a result of the collision to place tenth in the end. Wickens was forced to park up and retire. Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) in P3 took the last place on the podium after the subsequent safety car period. This was the Scot’s 50th points-scoring finish of his DTM career.
Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) placed eighth in his home race. Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM), who took a win at the Lausitzring, finished the seventh race of the season in 13th place. Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was 15th, while Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) came home in P20. Esteban Ocon (FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) retired shortly before the end of the race.
Paul Di Resta, P3: “Qualifying was a bit frustrating for me, because I made a mistake. I hope I can do better tomorrow, but to err is human, and we are fighting for thousandths of a second. I’ll do everything I can to get things right tomorrow. I’m pleased with a podium after the qualifying. I secured quite a few points, and we are in great shape. We’ll finish one or two places higher up the field tomorrow, hopefully.”
Points in home race.
Maximilian Götz, P8: “Securing points in my home race – that was my goal and I’ve achieved it. It was about time too, though. Qualifying didn’t go all that brilliantly for me. I lost a tenth of a second which costs you quite
a lot of places in this tightly bunched field. I could have done better given my speed. A bit more should still be possible if I can be in the top ten on the grid tomorrow. I feel quite positive now about the second race.”
Excuses don’t help.
Christian Vietoris, P10: “This is the point, surely. Everyone in our team is working really hard and doing everything we can to race and fight for wins. And then to simply lose everything we’ve earned through our hard work as a result of Ekström’s actions is not right as far as I’m concerned. A win or at least a podium would have been possible today. I’m now left with nothing. Excuses don’t help matters either.”
Lucas Auer, P13: “That was a difficult race for me. Basically, I was involved in too many collisions, and I also made a couple of errors. Now I need to analyse the race
with the team and then try to ensure that we’re on the up again tomorrow. Our qualifying pace wasn’t bad, but in the race itself, it was no longer quite enough.”
Gary Paffett, P15: “This has been a pretty tough weekend so far. We had some problems in practice and were unable to set up the car as we would have liked, and that resulted in a poor grid position. It’s always tricky here, starting in the middle of the field. You get stuck in a train of vehicles, and it’s very difficult to continue to move forwards.
I had one or two good scraps but couldn’t push forwards. Hopefully, things will be better tomorrow.”
Lack of grip.
Daniel Juncadella, P20: “Yet another difficult weekend for me. Unfortunately, I don’t know what the reason is. I have the feeling that I’m generally lacking grip. We need to do something in this department by tomorrow. At the moment, I’m just too slow.”
Esteban Ocon, Retired: “That was a difficult day from my perspective. Qualifying didn’t go well for me, and unfortunately we don’t know the reason for that. We have to find a solution before tomorrow morning. I’ve lost a lot of ground on the other drivers.
But we’re not going to let that get us down, and we’ll be on the attack again tomorrow.”
Robert Wickens, Retired: “I was taken out by Mattias Ekström. He’s already done that to lots of drivers this year. Everything was okay before Mattias Ekström’s attack. We were well placed in the Top Three. I saved my DRS and then Ekström braked far too late and crashed into Christian and me. That’s what happened.”
Loss of points.
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “I think we saw a nice clean race at the start. Then came that move by Ekström, in which he totally unnecessarily took out the two Mercedes placed first and second. What’s more, with Rob still leading the championship. I don’t believe that sort of thing has any place in fair racing, and I’m also sure that the fans don’t want to see it either. After Spielberg, he complained about various other drivers, calling them ‘clowns’. Today, he earned himself a red nose of his own.
We were on our way to wrapping up another victory at the Norisring. Now all we’ve got from it is a third place and the loss of many points in the title battle.”