Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) has made it four podiums out of four with a third-place finish at Spielberg. The race was won by Edoardo Mortara (Audi) ahead of Martin Tomczyk (BMW). This was the 485th podium for Mercedes-Benz in the DTM and the fifth of the 2012 season.
A P3 finish for Paffett has boosted his DTM championship points total to 83 and increased his lead over second-placed Mattias Ekström (Audi) to 36. THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG heads the team standings on 103 points, while Mercedes-Benz continues to lead the constructors’ championship on 158 points.
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished the race in fifth place. Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) took P11, 12, 13 and 14 respectively. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé) and David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) did not finish.
The start: Gary Paffett defends his second place on the opening lap. Jamie Green moves up two positions to fifth. Ralf Schumacher goes up one place to ninth position. Roberto Merhi moves up from P17 to P12. Christian Vietoris retires after colliding with another car. The safety car is out.
Lap 5 : Re-start: Paffett maintains his second place, Green in P5.
Lap 9: Merhi overtakes Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) and is tenth.
Lap 10: Paffett and Green in positions two and five respectively. During the first ten laps, Coulthard moves up the field from P22 to P13.
Lap 11: Merhi overtakes Miguel Molina (Audi) in a scrap for ninth place.
Lap 12: The pit stop window is now open. Coulthard and Schumacher come in for their first mandatory pit stops.
Lap 13: First pit stop for Susie Wolff.
Lap 16: Robert Wickens pits for the first time.
Lap 17: Coulthard overtakes Bruno Spengler (BMW) and moves into twelfth place. Merhi pits for first set of fresh tyres.
Lap 19: Paffett pits for first time from second place.
Lap 20: First mandatory pit stop for Green.
Lap 21: Coulthard retires.
Lap 26: Wickens pits for his second set of fresh tyres.
Lap 27: Wolff also pits for a second set of tyres.
Lap 28: Paffett makes his second pit stop. Schumacher also comes in for a tyre change.
Lap 29: Second and final mandatory pit stop for Merhi.
Lap 30: Green heads for the pit lane for a second time for another set of fresh tyres.
Final lap (lap 47) : After 47 laps and a total distance of 203.322 kilometres, Gary Paffett again finishes on the podium in the fourth DTM race at Spielberg. Jamie Green is in fifth place.
Comments after the race:
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Third:
„Before the race, we had planned on securing as many points as possible from Spielberg in the championship standings and we were quite successful in that we achieved a podium finish. The race was really exciting – of course, my final position could have been better, but that’s racing. I have extended my lead in the championship and that’s what counts. The scraps today were sometimes quite tough going and by the end of the race, my radiator was totally clogged up with grass. Nevertheless, I am very pleased with my four podium finishes in the first four races of 2012 – a first-class start to the season.“
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Fifth:
„I moved up two places at the start and was heading for the front of the field. Unfortunately, I lost quite a lot of time after a contact with another car. My pace was not too bad today but not enough for victory. Fifth place means, however, that I’ve at least secured important points in the championship where I am now in third place.“
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Eleventh:
„That was an action-packed race with plenty of scraps and exciting action – the fans certainly got their money’s worth today! Well, as for me, I could have done a bit better perhaps but unfortunately it was not meant to be. Things don’t always go your way in motor racing, but I am confident that I will be fighting it out with the front-runners again at the Norisring.“
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Twelfth:
„Twelfth place is a decent result for my first DTM race at this track. The potential for a better position was there but, unfortunately, I lost some time during the pit stop and in a collision with another car. I’ll be back on the offensive at the next race, though.“
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 13th:
„An exciting race that all the fans in the grandstands and watching at home on TV will surely have found hugely entertaining. My car was very fast today, and I felt that I was in with the chance of a Top 10 finish. But although there are opportunities to overtake here, it was difficult to make much progress from my P19 start position.“
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 14th:
„It was not enough for a place in the points, unfortunately, but at least I was able to move up from P20 to P14. A better result might have been possible but I had some bad luck on my pit stop as I emerged behind Miguel Molina. I made a small mistake when I went to attack him and spun off track.“
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), retired:
„I never thought that this weekend in Spielberg would turn out like this but that’s motor racing. I had trouble with the brake balance and couldn’t continue. I’ll just have to draw a line under this weekend and look forward to the next race in Nuremberg.“
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), retired:
„It’s a pity. My race was over shortly after the start, which is a bit unfortunate, because, whilst qualifying did not go brilliantly, I had planned on achieving a lot in the race but nothing came of it. I took the outside line on Turn 2 and was just moving back to the inside when another car rear-ended me. Now I must focus on the next race at the Norisring in Nuremberg.“
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„Gary Paffett has had a real chance of winning all four DTM races this season – Gary has actually won twice, finished second once and third once. His attack today for first place after his second pit stop – both of which were the fastest in the whole field – ended on the grass after front-runner Mortara stoutly defended his lead and Gary ran out of road. The grass even got in the radiator.
Then, with engine and brake temperatures rising, Gary had to nurse his C-Coupé as far as possible. Any thoughts of attacks on the man in front had to be forgotten since defending pursuers from behind was now required.
With this third place, Gary has boosted his championship lead from 25 to 36 points and Mercedes AMG remains in front in all three championships.
Jamie Green moved up to third in the championship, three points behind Mattias Ekström in second place, so our guest appearance in Spielberg has been very positive all round. The crowd got to see some really exciting racing right at the limit – sometimes over it too. After completing a record distance of over 200 kilometres, the first five crossed the finish line within 5.4 seconds of each other, which once again emphasises just how evenly matched the field is.
Congratulations to Edoardo Mortara and to Audi, as well as to Team Rosberg on their maiden victory. We are now looking forward to the next race on the Norisring street circuit at Nuremberg where Mercedes AMG has secured nine successive victories. In the intervening four weeks, our boys and girls can take a well-deserved break after all the hard work they have put in to get us into such a strong position in the DTM this season.”
Pictures: MBpassion.de / Text: Mercedes AMG