Mercedes-AMG DTM Team dominate first day of racing in Moscow.
Outstanding team performance.
Outstanding team performance by Mercedes-AMG DTM squad in tricky, wet conditions in Moscow. Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) won the first race of the weekend from fellow Mercedes-AMG drivers Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM), Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Maximilian Götz (Mercedes- AMG C 63 DTM). With his second win of the season, Wickens reclaimed the lead in the DTM drivers’ standings. Now on 108 points after eleven races, he is three points ahead of Marco Wittmann (BMW) in second place overall. For Wickens, this was also his fifth podium of the season and his fifth victory overall in the DTM. Mercedes-AMG lead the manufacturers’ standings by five points from Audi after taking the top four positions in the first race in Moscow. In Moscow, British driver Gary Paffett tackled a race from pole position for the twelfth time in his DTM career and celebrated a special anniversary at the same time – the 2005 DTM Champion completed his 140th DTM race on Saturday. Of the current crop of drivers racing in the DTM, he is in fourth place behind Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider (both 171 races) and Martin Tomczyk (169 races) as regards numbers of DTM starts. Finishing behind Paffett, Maximilian Götz came home in fourth place, achieving the best result so far of his DTM career. Earlier, Götz had qualified in P4, securing his best result to date in a DTM qualifying.
DTM rookie Felix Rosenqvist completed the Top Ten. The Swedish driver is making his DTM debut this weekend at the Moscow Raceway and finished in the points in his very first DTM race. Rosenqvist replaces Esteban Ocon, who used to race the FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM car. The Mercedes junior made the move up into Formula 1 during the summer break to drive for Manor Racing and will contest his first F1 Grand Prix next week in Spa-Francorchamps. Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) placed 18th. Christian Vietoris (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was 23rd and Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) came home in P24.
Robert Wickens, P1: “The car was absolutely fantastic here in the rain. It drove perfectly all day, right through from free practice and qualifying to the race. The conditions at the start of the race were very difficult. There was a lot of water on the track, and visibility behind the safety car was relatively limited. But once I had got past Gary, I had super grip and an incredibly fast car. Now I’m going to enjoy this result and focus on the second race tomorrow.”
Strong team result.
Paul Di Resta, P2: “Qualifying was just fantastic and the key to today’s strong team result with four Mercedes in the top four places. It’s just tremendous. Today, all of our hard work during the past weeks and months came to fruition.
As far as I’m concerned, it can carry on like this – though preferably one step higher on tomorrow’s podium.”
Gary Paffett, P3: “What a fantastic day! I’ve felt really comfortable in the car the whole day. I didn’t take any undue risks in view of the conditions, and the team did a great job in preparing the car. We must also thank Max, who did an excellent job of holding off the rest of the field. We had a clear lead over the competition today. This is a perfect way to restart the season after the summer break.”
Maximilian Götz, P4: “Finally, things have worked out! Fourth place is my best ever DTM result. Thanks to my team for their confidence in me and to the guys who have worked hard all year. We made the big breakthrough today and earned our just reward. I’m very happy. We got into our stride right from the start. We decided to take a bit of a risk in qualifying in view of the rain, and that paid off in the end.
This shows once again that qualifying is absolutely key in the DTM. When you start up front on the grid, you can then be a front-runner as well.”
Felix Rosenqvist, P10: “The conditions were difficult all day. In qualifying, it wasn’t raining all that much, but just before the race, it started to rain very hard. I was actually a bit surprised that the race was able to go ahead. At the start, I opted for safety first and tried to avoid getting involved in any collisions.
After that, I got into my rhythm but had to let Jamie Green and Edoardo Mortara go past. I was a bit disappointed about that. But tenth place is a magnificent result for my debut DTM race, especially considering the difficult conditions. So from that perspective, I’m very satisfied.”
Lucas Auer, P18: “That was a tough day for me. Of course, I want to congratulate our team on taking the top four places. What a great performance! I had a tricky day, though, personally. I realised early in the race that I didn’t have enough speed. Although I fought hard, I was unable to push forwards.
I then drove a clean race to the finish line and am now fully focused on tomorrow's race.”
Christian Vietoris, P23: “The weekend got off to a good start yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel all that comfortable in the wet today. Our setup didn’t suit these conditions. Anyway, at least we now know how we have to respond to this sort of situation in the future.”
Daniel Juncadella, P24: “Unfortunately, I was missing that element of luck today. Free practice yesterday went very well, and in the second session this morning, I once again had good pace. But in qualifying, I unfortunately got stuck in traffic on the last couple of laps. Consequently, I missed out on the best track conditions for those two laps and qualified back in P22. That was a great pity. In the race, my windscreen wiper packed in after just one lap.
After that, I could hardly see anything in the spray. But as soon as I was driving on my own, my pace was very good, and I actually set the fastest lap of the race. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck tomorrow.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “Today’s race day was just perfect with the top four positions in the bag, and then Felix finishing in the points in his maiden DTM race just put the icing on the cake so to speak. You can’t ask for any more. It was especially important to strike back today after Zandvoort. We’ve done that and now lead the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships. My thanks go to the whole squad. Their performance as a team was outstanding today.”