Mercedes-AMG DTM Team with four drivers in Top Ten at the Nürburgring.
Not a good afternoon.
Not a good afternoon for the Mercedes-AMG DTM Team at the Golden Jubilee of the DTM at the Nürburgring. Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) booked P6 and Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) P7 in a race that was marked by several collisions. Austrian driver Lucas Auer was contesting his 30th race in the Eifel. He secured his third pole position in the DTM in qualifying and his second at this track. However, he was handed a five-place grid penalty in the race following his third warning of the season during the second fixture in Moscow. Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished the 13th race of the season in ninth and tenth place respectively. For Wickens, P9 goes some way to limiting the damage in the title fight. He is on 120 points after 13 races and is still second overall behind Marco Wittmann (BMW) in the lead with 155 points. DTM rookie Felix Rosenqvist (FREE MEN’S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was twelfth, and local favourite Christian Vietoris (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) crossed the finish line in P13.
Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was in fourth place for a good quarter of an hour before the end of the race and in with a chance of a podium finish. However, in an exciting battle between drivers jockeying for position, Bruno Spengler (BMW) crashed into the Spaniard, causing him to spin and drop back down the field. Juncadella subsequently finished the race in P17. Spengler received a drive-through penalty for causing the collision. Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) battled with Timo Scheider (Audi) for the final point in the closing stages of the race. Paffett was hit from behind during the scrap and forced into a spin. He crossed the finish line in P19 as a result.
Paul Di Resta (30, Scotland), P6: “A reasonable day overall. P6 is a good result in view of the extra weight. I think we’ll be happy if we can do as well tomorrow. It was a tough day, but I can feel quite positive about it.”
Lucas Auer (21, Austria), P7: “Qualifying was super. I had a few problems at the start of the race. I didn’t get my start right, unfortunately. We’ll now have to look carefully at that, because if you don’t get a good start, then it totally ruins your first lap.
We can achieve more tomorrow if we improve.”
Robert Wickens (27, Canada), P9: “Today was not our day, unfortunately. I didn’t get things quite right in qualifying. That was my big problem, and then in the race, I simply didn’t have the pace. We must now analyse the data carefully. I made a good start and was in the points. That was my main goal, but I was struggling with the car and just could not push forwards. In view of everything that happened, I should be satisfied with P9, but it was a disappointing day as far as the championship goes.”
Very good reaction.
Maximilian Götz (30, Germany), P10: “It was a bit ridiculous at the start. My reactions were very good, and I thought it was a jump start. That’s why I broke off and lost two positions on the first lap as a result. Towards the end, I was having to defend tenth place against opponents coming up behind. My car was slightly damaged, but ultimately P10 is OK.
However, a lot more would have been possible if I’d got away better at the start.”
A lot to learn.
Felix Rosenqvist (24, Sweden), P12: “I didn’t get off to the best of starts because of wheel spin. Consequently, I found myself just outside the Top Ten at the end of the first lap. After that, I tried to help my team-mates. The car was really good, but I’ve got a lot more learning to do.
Sometimes, I make the wrong decisions in the race. With a little more experience, I’ll perhaps be able to make smarter use of DRS. In view of the way the race went, P12 isn’t such a bad result.”
Plenty of wheel-to-wheel action.
Christian Vietoris (27, Germany), P13: “After the weekend had got off to such a good start, that wasn’t the result we were expecting. In qualifying, I got held up. That cost me at least the second row, maybe even the first. Unfortunately, if you then have to start further back, there’s no way back to the front. Still, it was an exciting race with plenty of wheel-to-wheel action. Unfortunately, qualifying ruined my Saturday.”
Daniel Juncadella (25, Spain), P17: “What a shame – today could have been a good day for me. The race was a lot of fun. I got off to a mega start and was already up to third going into the first corner. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hang on to this position. My pace was good and I saved my DRS for the end of the race. Then it got a bit chaotic out there on track, and I managed to move up to fourth, briefly even third.
But that’s when I got pushed by Bruno. He misbraked and apologised to me afterwards. It was bad luck, but that sort of thing happens in racing.”
Chance of points.
Gary Paffett (35, England), P19: “I started from P14 directly behind Robert, so my goal was clear, to follow him and maybe grab a few points in the process. Timo Scheider was behind Robert, mid-way through the race, trying to overtake. He lost a bit of speed in Turn 2 and I went past him on the inside at Turn 3. He then just ran me off the track in Turn 4. He got a penalty for his actions. I would have had a chance of points but for the incident. However, there weren’t any as things turned out.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “Frankly, it has to be said that we had our hands tied behind our back today. The extra weight that we had to carry after qualifying was simply too much for us to accomplish anything in the race. Dani might have been in with a chance of a podium but was deprived of the reward for all his hard work thanks to a no-fault collision.
Despite all this, we’ll obviously be doing our best to score points again tomorrow with more of our cars.”