Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) will start Sunday’s fifth round of the DTM in Nuremberg from pole position.
The British driver set a time of 49.139 seconds in the individual time trial at the end of qualifying. It is his tenth DTM pole and his first at this track. Since 1988, Mercedes-Benz has achieved 14 pole positions at the Nuremberg street circuit. A Mercedes has been on pole in six of the last seven races at the Norisring.
Overall, this is the 111th time that a Mercedes-Benz driver will start from pole position in the DTM, in the 111th anniversary year of the first Mercedes victory during the 1901 Nice Speed Weeks, when Wilhelm Werner won the Nice-Salon-Nice race. Exactly two weeks after the anniversary of that win, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg achieved the 111th Grand Prix victory for Mercedes in his 111th Formula 1 race at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.
After Paffett and Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) started first and second at Brands Hatch earlier in the season, this is the second time in 2012 that two DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupés have qualified on the front row. It is the 66th front row lockout for Mercedes-Benz in the history of the DTM and the third in succession at the Norisring.
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) posted the fifth-fastest lap in Q3 with a time of 49.023 seconds, which means he will start from Row 3. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé / 49.156 seconds) lines up eighth on the grid.
Qualifying Part 1: Gary Paffett set the fastest time – 48.769 seconds – in first qualifying ahead of team-mate Jamie Green. Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 49.248), Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 49.348) and Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 49.378) will start from positions 17 to 19 respectively on the grid. Just eight-tenths of a second covered all 22 drivers in Q1.
Qualifying Part 2: Jamie Green posted the second fastest time in second qualifying. David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 49.130) finished in P14. Less than half a second separated the top 16 drivers in Q2.
Comments on qualifying:
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Pole Position (49.139):
“Pole position for me, the 111th for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM and Jamie starting from P2 – you don’t get many better days than this. At the same time, though, I have to admit that it was very tight out there. I only just made it through to Q4, but my lap wasn’t perfect and every thousandth counts at this track. I’ve finished on the podium in all four races so far this year, and I’d love to continue that run with a third win of the season tomorrow.”
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Second (49.171):–
“The Norisring just seems to suit me and our DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé has been running really well. The 111th all-time DTM pole for Mercedes-Benz shows that. I performed strongly in all the qualifying sessions, and the front row is an excellent platform for the race. I think I’m all set up for another good result in tomorrow’s race.”
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Fifth (49.023):
“P5 is a good result. I can feel well pleased with that, especially in view of how tight the competition is and the tiny margins at the Norisring. I was just 57 thousandths off qualifying in the Top 4. It’s obviously disappointing when you’re so near and yet so far, but starting from fifth on the grid puts me in a good position for the race. This circuit suits my style of driving, and I’m optimistic about improving my position tomorrow.”
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), Eighth (49.156):
“The Norisring is not one of my favourite circuits, but qualifying nevertheless went well for me. The lap times in all the sessions were very close and it was very difficult to make any improvements in time, especially in Q2 – but that’s exactly what I did. Eighth place is a good starting position for Sunday. The race is long and the stress on drivers and cars in this hot conditions is right on the limit of what we can cope with.”
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 14th (49.130):
“Qualifying at the Norisring was really close this afternoon; I missed going through to Q3 by barely two tenths of a second. I’m expecting an exciting race and hope to move up the field. The race is 83 laps long and it will be important to stay well clear of any trouble and not make any mistakes.”
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 17th (49.248):
“It’s a shame because 17th place is not the sort of qualifying result that I was looking for. But I was held up in traffic, so unfortunately did not make it through to Q2. We’re in for a really hot race in the truest sense, if the weather is anything like it was today. I’ll make sure I’m well hydrated before the start and then we’ll see. The race is long and anything can happen.”
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 18th (49.348):
“Unfortunately, I was not fast enough and could not set a better lap time. Of course, I will give everything in the race to make Sunday as exciting as possible for the thousands of fans here at the track. All is not lost yet.”
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 19th (49.378):
“It’s a pity, there was more to be had today than 19th place. Unfortunately, I was held me up by another driver in the first qualifying session so could not set a proper lap on my last set of tyres. That cost me the chance of a better grid position. I’ll be attacking in the race, though, and aim to fight my way up through the field.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
“An all-Mercedes front row at the Norisring – that’s pretty cool. We have championship leader Gary Paffett in P1 with Jamie Green in P2, and scored our 111th DTM pole in the 111th anniversary year of Mercedes motorsport. Ralf Schumacher will start from fifth place and Christian Vietoris from P8 , which puts us in a great position for tomorrow’s race. A sound team effort will hopefully see everything come good on Sunday.“
Text: Daimler AG / Pictures: MBpassion.de