Mercedes-Benz driver Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) placed fifth in the penultimate DTM race in Zandvoort. Vietoris is third in the drivers’ standings on 69 points in the run-up to the Hockenheim season finale.
Three DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupés finished in the Top Ten in front of 20,000 spectators, who came through the gates at the weekend. Audi driver Mattias Ekström won the spectacular race that was characterized by four safety car periods.
Winner of the Lausitzring race Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) booked seventh place at the dunes circuit in the Netherlands. Robert Wickens (FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished in P8. Vitaly Petrov (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) crossed the finish line in P11.
Daniel Juncadella (Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) placed eighth in the race. The Spanish driver was handed a drive-through penalty after the race which was converted into a 30-second time penalty, bumping him down to P17. Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Paul Di Resta (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) retired before the end of the race.
The next race: The finale of the 2014 DTM season will take place on the weekend of October 18th-19th at Hockenheim in what will be a home fixture for Mercedes-Benz.
Christian Vietoris (25, Germany, Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 5th
“First of all, I have to say a big ‘thank you’ to my team. They have worked incredibly hard this week to get the car ready in time for the race weekend. That was a superb achievement. I’m really pleased that we have scored points today and that we’re still in with a chance of finishing the season in second place. P5 is a decent result after starting from 18th on the grid. We certainly weren’t counting on this going into the race. Tailing Edoardo Mortara on the final couple of laps, I had more to lose than to gain. For that reason, I decided to bank the points for a fifth-place finish and to avoid taking any unnecessary risks.”
Pascal Wehrlein (19, Germany, gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 7th
“My start was not too good, unfortunately, and I lost a position. I tried to nurse my tyres during the race. That didn’t work out brilliantly well. My speed on the options was not as good as later on the prime tyre. The race was full of action. There were lots of incidents and safety car periods. That didn’t suit our strategy and cost us our advantage on options. Towards the end, I was bumped up the back by Maxime Martin while battling for position. That cost me sixth place. However, it was a decent race under these tough circumstances.”
Robert Wickens (25, Canada, FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 8th
“We need to analyse the race in detail. I don’t understand what some other drivers were doing out there. There are always drivers who you can have a fair race with and still preserve the fun element. Then there are the others who drive into the side of your car when you’re braking and cause you to spin like Molina did with me. I don’t understand why he did that – I had the corner, I had the position. P8 is okay, but a lot more points were possible. Anyway, the team did a good job.”
Vitaly Petrov (30, Russia, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 11th
“First of all, I’d like to apologise again for my mistake in practice. I had to start last, and finding the right pace on this new circuit was very tough initially. The balance on the prime tyre was not too good. We’ll have to work on that ahead of the next race. I had to learn the track during the race, as I only posted five laps in the qualifying and have never raced here before. But then we did half of the race on option tyres, and I passed some cars when my pace returned. My lap times were not too bad. I know, though, that I can be even quicker.”
Daniel Juncadella (23, Spain, Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 17th
“P8 was actually a decent result. We made the right call every time. Unfortunately, this retrospective penalty has dropped me out of the points. It was a crazy race. I had a contact with Augusto Farfus, who changed direction twice, which meant I was unable to avoid him. Things could have gone even a little bit better overall. I was pleased with my charge up the field from grid position 21. The penalty has cost me my just reward for all my efforts.”
Gary Paffett (33, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): retired
“For the most part, it was a good race. We had a good start and were fighting quite far to the front. I was quite happy on the option tyres. We pitted pretty early to try and jump the guys ahead. Initially, we looked OK on the prime tyres. The first safety car period was also good for us, but the subsequent ones cost us positions. Towards the end of the race, I had guys on options overtaking me. Then I had a battle with Pascal and lost some more time. Finally, I just ran wide out of Turn 8 and hit the wall pretty hard. It was a good race up to that point but obviously a very disappointing end.”
Paul Di Resta (28, Scotland, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): retired
“There was a small incident with Antonio Felix da Costa. We were struggling quite badly from Lap 1. I think something was wrong with the car. Perhaps there was a contact that caused it. I was driving on the edge. We were in a strong position, in the points, and it’s a bit frustrating when you retire for something like that, given where you are. I hope in Hockenheim we can get back on track.”
Wolfgang Schattling, Head of Motorsport Marketing & Communications:
“We knew from the start that a tough weekend was in prospect here in Zandvoort. It sounds good initially, bringing home three DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupés in the Top Ten, but unfortunately, they didn’t finish where we wanted them to. We had hoped for a better result after Pascal’s strong showing in qualifying. Unfortunately, we couldn’t pull it off in the race. Pascal was unlucky with the safety car periods but drove a good race. Christian produced a marvellous performance after starting from P18 on the grid. The right tyre strategy enabled him to move up the field to P5. In the end, though, he decided not to take any risks. We’re off now to our home fixture in Hockenheim with renewed vigor, where we intend to draw a satisfactory close to the season.”
Pictures: MBpassion.de / Source: Mercedes-Benz Motorsport