Gary Paffett finished second on the podium in Mercedes-AMG Motorsport’s 400th DTM/ITC race. This race, marking a special milestone, in front of 79,500 spectators (during the whole weekend) was really something with a safety car period, changeable weather conditions and plenty of scraps for position.
Lucas Auer (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM BWT) finished Race 2 in fourth place, just missing the podium. He leads the DTM drivers‘ standings after the first race weekend with a score of 40 points. Paffett has 26 points, the same as the winner of the second race, Jamie Green (Audi), and is in third place overall. Mercedes-AMG on 92 points top the manufacturers’ rankings. Mercedes-AMG Motorsport BWT lead the team standings with 53 points.
Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Maro Engel (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM SILBERPFEIL Energy) also finished in the points. Di Resta crossed the finish line in P6, Engel was tenth. Edoardo Mortara (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM BWT) started the race from grid slot four. The Italian dropped down the field after a scrap at the start but fought his way up into third place following the safety car period. However, Mortara fell back to eighth place after a spin in conditions made difficult by light drizzle. He finally finished the race in P13.
The race came to an early end shortly after the start for Robert Wickens (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me). The Canadian was forced to retire after a contact in Turn 1.
The next race weekend: From Hockenheim the DTM heads to the Lausitzring. The second race weekend of the 2017 season will be held during the second Lausitzring Motorsport Festival, 19th – 21st May.
Gary Paffett: „Today’s race was like a rollercoaster ride. After the restart, I was in fourth place. I got away pretty well, but on Turn 4, I went onto the grass and dropped down the field. After that, I thought it would be difficult to get into the points. But we made a perfect decision on the pit stop and switched to wets at just the right moment. The car was then really fast. I overtook Marco and went hunting for Jamie. The first time I saw the board at the pit wall, he was 16 seconds ahead of me, but by the end of the race, this was down to just four. You must never give up and always fight to the end. All in all, it was an incredible start to the season for the DTM: in both races, all three manufacturers were on the podium, and each time it was three different drivers.”
Lucas Auer: “Congratulations to Gary on finishing second. It was a tough race. Due to the difficult conditions, there were times when I had no idea what position I was in. After the pit stop, I thought I was last, whereas in fact I was fourth. So I am really happy. Maybe we stayed out a bit too long, but on the other hand, the rain might have stopped, and then it would have been the perfect decision. Essentially, I’m satisfied with the result. The restart – which is new this season – was crazy. You must be ready to put your foot down at any moment. If your reactions are just one-tenth too slow, you drop down the field, but if you’re too early, you get penalised.”
Source: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport