Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Robert Wickens (FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) kicked off the second half of the 2014 DTM season with a pole position.
The Canadian posted the fastest time of 1:25.175 minutes in qualifying for the sixth race of the season in Spielberg, Austria. This is Wickens’ second pole this year after booking the top grid position for the season highlight at the Norisring and his third pole position overall in the internationally popular touring car series.
Two more Mercedes-Benz drivers will line up on the first four rows of the grid for the start of the race – Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:25.246 minutes) and Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:25.362 minutes). Wehrlein will be in grid position five, while Vietoris will start the sixth DTM race of the season from seventh place.
Mercedes junior Daniel Juncadella (Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:35.335 minutes) qualified in 12th position. Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) qualified in P19 in the first segment of qualifying. His time of 1:25.577 minutes was the same as that of Timo Scheider (Audi), who placed 18th. Vitaly Petrov (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:25.856 minutes) and Paul Di Resta (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:25.932 minutes) booked positions 22 and 23 respectively.
Looking ahead to the race: The sixth race of the 2014 DTM season starts at 1:30 pm on Sunday (live on ARD, from 1:15 pm onwards). The race is staged over 47 laps, which equates to a total distance of 203.322 km.
Robert Wickens (25, Canada, FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): “Pole position! That’s super. Simply fabulous. I had no idea how tight it was as I was putting in my final lap. A big thank-you goes to my team. That was by no means an easy qualifying session, but they did a fantastic job. Three Mercedes-Benz drivers in the Top 8 represents a strong team performance. The earlier spin was my fault; unfortunately, I took too much of a risk on Turn 8, and the same thing happened as in free practice. Luckily, I managed to keep calm and rounded off the session with a super lap. We’re in the best possible position for the start of the race. It would be nice if we could cross the finish line in P1.”
Pascal Wehrlein (19, Germany, gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 5th, (1:25.246)
“That was a good qualifying. I’m happy with the result. I was still expecting a tough weekend after this morning’s first practice session, but we’ve really improved the car. There was everything to play for in Q3. I was even in P1 for quite a long time. I went out on track right at the start of the third session. I slipped down the field a little at the end, though, as I only had one set of tyres. Still, all is not lost starting from grid position five.”
Christian Vietoris (25, Germany, Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 7th, (1:25.362)
“That was one of the better qualifying sessions this season. P7 is a good grid position for the start of the race. It’s nice to have a car in which I can compete at the front of the field again. It makes driving fun.”
Daniel Juncadella (23, Spain, Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 12th, (1:25.335)
“It’s difficult to say anything positive about this qualifying session. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a disappointment for me. I’m sure my car was good enough for the Top Five, but unfortunately I’m starting from twelfth. That tells you all you need to know. I really need to improve my qualifying performance in the next few races.”
Gary Paffett (33, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 19th, (1:25.577)
“Of course, it’s disappointing not to go through to Q2. I posted exactly the same lap time as Timo Scheider, but he did it before me, which was just my bad luck. My car felt great all in all, so I don’t understand why I was two or three tenths down on my fellow Mercedes drivers. That’s still a little bit of a mystery that we will certainly solve.”
Vitaly Petrov (29, Russia, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 22nd, (1:25.856)
“All in all, we’re heading in the right direction. I’m not too worried about today’s qualifying. It was really tough because the times were bunched very close together. You can finish in the Top 10 or the Top 15 just by being a tenth faster. We’ve improved since the race in Moscow as we hoped. We’re now beginning to understand as a team where we need to be. We were really on track here in qualifying.”
Paul Di Resta (28, Scotland, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 23rd, (1:25.932)
“The guys did a terrific job of getting my car fixed after my crash in practice. It was my mistake and cost us dearly, as we didn’t have time to set up the car properly for qualifying.”
Wolfgang Schattling, Head of Motorsport Marketing & Communications:
“The pole position for Robert came as a bit of a surprise to us. Ahead of the race weekend here at Spielberg, we had been hoping to get one or maybe two cars into the Top 8. But Robert’s performance was simply sensational. We have always known that Robert is an exceptionally talented driver, and today he has proved that yet again. The grid positions for Pascal and Christian also bode well for tomorrow’s race. All in all, we can feel well satisfied with the way qualifying went. We now have to follow up this performance with a good result in the race itself.”
Source: Mercedes-Benz Motorsport