In his 90th DTM race, DTM championship leader Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) was placed second in the eighth race of the DTM season at Oschersleben.
For Paffett, this was the 30th podium of his DTM career and his third at Oschersleben. Team-mate Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) secured third place and his 20th podium in the DTM. The race was won by Bruno Spengler (BMW).
Overall, this was the 488th podium for Mercedes-Benz in 351 races since 1988 and the eighth podium of the 2012 season.
Gary Paffett leads the DTM drivers’ standings with 127 points and is eleven points ahead of Bruno Spengler (BMW / 116 points). Jamie Green is in third place on 108 points. Team THOMAS SABO / Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG leads the team standings with 151 points. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, Mercedes-Benz heads the rankings with 295 points.
Canadian driver Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) in seventh position produced his best DTM result so far since the previous race at Zandvoort. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished the race in positions twelve, thirteen and fourteen respectively. Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Coupé) and David Coulthard (DHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) did not finish.
Roberto Merhi posted a 1:22.752, the fastest of the 51 laps. It was the first fastest lap of the Spanish driver’s DTM career. Since 1988, Mercedes-Benz drivers have achieved fastest laps in a total of 167 races, including six at Oschersleben.
The eighth race of the season at Oschersleben was the 140th race of the ‘new’ DTM since 2000. During these twelve and a half years, Mercedes-Benz has secured 81 wins, 62 pole positions and 83 fastest race laps. A total of 71,000 fans attended the DTM race weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun) at Oschersleben.
The start: Jamie Green and Gary Paffett are second and third at the start of the race. Robert Wickens moves up six places to seventh, Christian Vietoris goes up the field from P16 to P12.
Lap 2: David Coulthard retires in the pits.
Lap 10: Paffett is in second place, two seconds down on leader Bruno Spengler (BMW). Green is third, Wickens seventh and Vietoris tenth.
Lap 13: The pit stop window is now open. Green and Susie Wolff come in for their first change of tyres.
Lap 14: First pit stop for Ralf Schumacher.
Lap 15: Paffett in second place comes in for first pit stop.
Lap 16: Wickens comes into the pits for the first time.
Lap 17: Roberto Merhi also makes his first pit stop and comes away with fresh rubber.
Lap 21: Vietoris makes first mandatory pit stop.
Lap 27: Second change of tyres for Green.
Lap 28: Wickens comes in for second time.
Lap 29: Paffett in the lead makes final mandatory pit stop.
Lap 31: Second pit stop for Vietoris.
Lap 32 : Final mandatory pit stop for Ralf Schumacher.
Lap 34: Second set of fresh tyres for Merhi.
Lap 35: Paffett, Green and Wickens are in positions two, three and seven respectively after the two mandatory pit stops.
Final lap (lap 51): After 51 laps and a total race distance of 188.496km, Gary Paffett and Jamie Green crossed the finish line in second and third place. Robert Wickens was seventh.
Comments after the race:
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Second:
„My C-Coupé was, as expected, very fast in the race today and we had a shot at victory. Bruno Spengler, however, also drove well and with no mistakes. I would, of course, like to have won in Oschersleben, nevertheless I have defended my lead in the championship with second place. Quite apart from that, it’s nice to be on the podium for the 30th time in my 90th DTM race. I’m currently eleven points ahead of Bruno with the last two races of the season in Valencia and Hockenheim still to come and am optimistic for the next race in Spain.“
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Third:
„This is my 20th podium in the DTM and I am very proud of that fact. The race was not easy for me. My pace was not quite good enough to scrap with front-runners Bruno Spengler and Gary for the win. But during the race, my car’s speed kept coming and I achieved my third podium finish of the season.“
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Seventh:
„After my best-ever DTM result in Zandvoort, I also anticipated a finish in the points at the Oschersleben weekend, so I’m very happy with seventh place. I had a very good start and was able to move up six places in the first corner. It was like a dream come true. My stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was very fast. I hope to achieve a similarly good result during my next race in Valencia.“
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), Twelfth:
„I hoped for a good finish in the points today after a great start from P16 on the grid. Overtaking at Oschersleben is difficult though, and, despite all efforts, I could move no further forward than twelfth. Now I’m looking forward to Valencia and hope to achieve a better result there.“
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 13th:
„My race went wrong in the first turn. After that, I tried to make up as many places as possible in the race, but my pace was not fast enough. It could be that my car was damaged at the start and that’s why I couldn’t post faster lap times. I will now have a look at the data with the team’s engineers.“
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 14th:
„I found the race very tricky. I got off to a bad start and then pushed hard to gain some places, but, unfortunately, I didn’t have enough grip with my first set of tyres. The second set of rubber was much better and I was able to demonstrate my car’s good pace towards the end of the race. My first fastest lap in a DTM race shows that I could have achieved a better result with my Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé and has given me extra motivation for my upcoming home race in Valencia.“
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), retired:
„That was a very tough weekend for me, unfortunately. After a disappointing qualifying session, things did not get much better in the race. I had trouble with the suspension after making contact with another car, and so my race was over. There are two races still to come, and I would like to finish the season with two decent results.“
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), retired:
„Unfortunately, my race was over before it had really begun. Another car hit my off-side rear wheel at the start – after that it was undriveable. This is obviously a disappointment, but now I must put this weekend in Oschersleben behind me and look forward to Valencia, where I was very quick last year.“
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„Today’s race was one or two laps too short for Gary and so the championship remains a thriller to the very end – exciting and open-ended. At the start of the season, neither Gary nor I could have imagined a more gripping scenario with Gary taking an eleven-point lead into the last two races of the year. His lead is not huge, but it is better than a deficit of similar size. There are two races yet to be run and of the three drivers who still have title chances, two drive for Mercedes. We continue to lead in all three championship categories as we have done since the first race in Hockenheim and we will all work hard as a team to defend the status quo until after the last race at Hockenheim.“
Pictures: MBpassion.de / Text: Mercedes AMG