DTM: Wickens kicks off Motorsport Festival at the Lausitzring with podium.
The Mercedes-AMG DTM Team kicked off the third race weekend of the DTM season with a podium finish: Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) booked third place in the fifth race of the season at the Lausitzring. This was the Canadian’s eighth podium finish of his DTM career. Wickens is now level on points (43 points) with his Mercedes AMG DTM team-mate Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) after five races this season. They are both only four points behind overall championship leader, Marco Wittmann (BMW). The two Pink Panthers in the BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTMs also achieved a decent result: Placing fifth and seventh respectively, Christian Vietoris and Lucas Auer achieved a points-scoring finish in the home race of their Mercedes-AMG DTM Team Mücke.
The Scot Paul Di Resta finished the race in 13th place ahead of fellow Mercedes-AMG DTM driver Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM). Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) took the chequered flag in 16th place. Daniel Juncadella (UBFS invest Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished the fifth race of the season in P18, while DTM rookie Esteban Ocon (FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was 23rd.
Robert Wickens, P3: “That was a nice race. I made a good start and moved up into third place. I then chased the two Audis, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out. However, third place is a good result and good too towards the championship. We earned this podium today. The track reminds me a little of those in North America. There are a lot of bumps, which requires a completely different driving style. We are strong here, but Audi were a little bit better today. We’ll get another chance tomorrow when I would like to secure as many points as possible again.”
Christian Vietoris, P5: “That was a tough race. I lost my power steering towards the middle of the race and am now really fatigued. It’s extremely difficult to make correcting movements when you have to battle with the power steering. I’m pleased that I could finish the race and still secure some decent points. Our car was fast today and good enough to attack the front-runners. However keeping the car on track in the fast Turn 7 was tough without power steering.
I lost a lot of time there. So, more would have been possible, but under the circumstances, I'm satisfied with fifth place.”
Lucas Auer, P7: “We chose to start on used tyres, which made it a little bit more difficult for me today. I had a good scrap with Marco Wittmann, but I had no DRS left in the end.
That's why I let Christian through, so that he could have a crack at overtaking him (Wittmann). Overall, I'm satisfied with my first points of the season.”
No exciting day.
Paul Di Resta, P13: “Sadly, that wasn’t a very exciting day for me. The car was very difficult to drive in qualifying. We’ll have to look at that more closely. I fought my way up from 21st on the grid to 13th in the race. I overtook a lot of cars, but we’ll have to qualify further up front if we’re going to secure points.”
Gary Paffett, P14: “Starting from outside of the Top 10 made things tough from the beginning, but I made a good start and moved up a couple of positions. Tambay came through on the inside towards the end of the first lap in Turn 8 and simply forced me off the track into the gravel at the exit from the corner. That cost me six or seven positions.
I could then still manage to battle my way forward a bit after that, but when you lose so much time, it's impossible to make up for it. That was very disappointing.”
Maximilian Götz, P16: “I got off to a good start, staying clear of trouble. It’s a shame that I had a grid penalty. Much more would have been possible, starting from 15th on the grid, perhaps even the Top Ten. My speed was good, and I was able to attack. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in the first turn and lost two places. After that, though, I managed to fight back to 16th. However, the qualifying is the key. We’ll have to start further up the field tomorrow, and then make sure that we hit back hard in the second race.”
Not a good day.
Daniel Juncadella, P18: “Not a particularly good day, unfortunately. There's not much more to say after that. I didn't have the necessary pace in either qualifying or the race.
We've got to analyse the data this evening, as I was always very good at the Lausitzring. Overall, it was far from ideal today. We just weren't competitive enough.”
Tough first lap.
Esteban Ocon, P23: “I had a tough first lap, on which I lost a lot of positions. After that, the car was struck from all sides. I was behind Tomczyk and tried to overtake him in Turn 6. I made contact with him as I tried to pass, for which I received a drive-through penalty. However, I was able to finish the race despite the damage to the car.
We gained some useful data for tomorrow.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “That was a good race. We managed to get three cars in the Top 7 and secure a podium finish as well. We can be satisfied with today’s result.”