The third race of the DTM season took place on Sunday, 2nd June at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. 44,000 spectators attended the race weekend at the track in Styria to watch racing in the world’s most popular touring car series.
Three Mercedes-Benz drivers – Christian Vietoris (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Pascal Wehrlein (VfB Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) – finished in the points.
After a tough qualifying session, Mercedes Junior Vietoris started the race from P16 on the grid but moved nine places up the field to finish the season’s third race in seventh position. Despite a two-second pit stop penalty, his Mercedes-Benz team-mate Gary Paffett came home in P9 and also finished in the points. Wehrlein completed the Top 10 by taking the chequered flag in tenth place. And so, in only his third DTM race, the youngest driver in DTM history finished in the points for the second time.
Canadian driver Robert Wickens (STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished the race in twelfth place, just ahead of team-mate Daniel Juncadella (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) in 13th. Roberto Merhi (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) took the chequered flag in P20.
Overall standings: After winning the third race of the season at Spielberg, Bruno Spengler (BMW) now leads the drivers’ championship on 53 points. Christian Vietoris is in fifth place on 25 points. In the constructors’ championship, Mercedes-Benz has scored 65 points in the first three of ten races.
The next race: The fourth DTM race weekend will be held from 15th to 16th June 2013 at the Lausitzring.
Statements after the Race
Christian Vietoris (24, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): Seventh place
„In view of the difficult position we found ourselves in after qualifying, I am thoroughly satisfied with the way my race went. Thanks to a sound strategy, I was able to move nine places up the field and once again to score valuable points. Our race pace is good, as can be seen from our two podium finishes on the first two weekends. We need to increase our pace on Saturdays so that we can start from further up the grid. Then we would be in a position to battle it out for the top race positions. Our car is generally easy on tyres and our strategy worked as planned, so, my compliments to the team! We have extracted the maximum out of the current package and must now endeavour to improve it overall.“
Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): Ninth place
„My pace seemed to be quite decent as compared to the front-runners. The start was really good, but then, I was forced to the outside going into Turn 3 and lost two places. Considering how some other drivers treated me, I’m surprised that it was me who got a penalty. We stayed with the option tyres for a long time and the pace was really good on them. We did well on the primes too. Unfortunately, there were a few drivers on a different strategy, who got the jump on us. Saturday’s problem cost me quite a few positions today.“
Pascal Wehrlein (18, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): Tenth place
„This is my second points finish in successive races, which has to count as a good result. The pace of my DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was good today, and we posted consistent lap times throughout the race. Unfortunately, we were some way off the leaders. These first three races of the season have gone OK for me, and we’ve seen that I’ve always been in with a chance of scoring points. But in future races, we want to achieve more than that.“
Robert Wickens (24, Canada, STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): Twelfth place
„Unfortunately, my race did not go according to plan. I still cannot understand how I fell back from seventh to twelfth place. I was even in sixth position on my first stint. I didn’t get stuck in traffic at all, nor did I make any mistakes. The car didn’t feel in any way different to yesterday either. We need to analyse exactly what happened before the next race.“
Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 13th place
„I was satisfied with my race pace today, and the car was good enough to secure points. My start was not brilliant, though, and then, unfortunately, Jamie Green rear-ended me just afterwards, which made me spin and drop way back down the field to last place. My chances of finishing in the points were over by then. I felt very comfortable on the option tyres. But for the incident at the start of the race, tenth place might well have been possible.“
Roberto Merhi (22, Spain, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 20th place
„A tough weekend in Spielberg ended with a disappointing result for me. I had some exciting scraps in the race including the one with Martin Tomczyk. It was an unfortunate situation as far as I’m concerned, since I was handed a 10-second penalty, but I think that people might think differently once they’ve seen the replay. Unfortunately, my hopes of points received a setback right at the start in Saturday’s qualifying. Points might have been possible with a better starting position.“
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„I had obviously imagined my home race at Spielberg turning out rather differently. Unfortunately, we have had a tough time here today. But that is just as much a part of motor racing as winning – Congratulations to BMW. Our people are working flat out to raise the level of our performance, and in the run-up to the next race at the Lausitzring, we will be analysing this weekend in detail. Gary was pushed wide in the first turn and lost quite a few positions. His penalty was a tricky decision. Christian had a good strategy and scored some valuable points with his seventh-place finish. I am especially delighted for Timo Glock who has claimed his first ever podium in the DTM – that’s one great piece of news for the whole series.“
Source: Mercedes DTM