During the eighth race weekend of the DTM season at the Lausitzring, Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) secured his maiden pole position in the internationally popular touring car series. The 19-year-old driver posted a 1:17.547 in Q3, finishing with a lead of 0.057 seconds on the rest of the field. Wehrlein is now the youngest driver ever to secure a pole position in the DTM.
Fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers Daniel Juncadella (Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:17.779 minutes) and Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.291 minutes) will line up in P5 and P8 respectively in the eighth DTM race of the year.
Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.202 minutes) booked P11 and Robert Wickens (FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.250 minutes) took P12. Vitaly Petrov (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.314 minutes) achieved his best result so far in his eighth DTM qualifying – P14 on the grid. Fellow Mercedes driver Paul Di Resta (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:18.699 minutes) will be in grid position 22 in the eighth race of the season.
Extreme conditions made Saturday’s preparations for the qualifying session particularly difficult. Thick fog blanketed the racetrack at the Lausitzring, and for a long time, the rescue helicopter was unable to take off. As a result, the two free practice sessions had to be postponed again and again. In the end, there was one 15-minute session that got under way 30 minutes before the start of the qualifying. However, Q1 was abandoned after a few minutes, and all drivers progressed through into an extended Q2.
Looking ahead to the race: The eighth race of the 2014 season begins on Sunday at 13:30 (live on ARD, from 13:15 onwards). The race is staged over 52 laps, which equates to a total distance of 180.856 km.
Comments after Qualifying
Pascal Wehrlein (19, Germany, gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): Pole Position, (1:17.547)
“My first pole position in the DTM, and in such difficult conditions here at the Lausitzring too. I’m absolutely delighted. I’ve been putting in some solid performances recently but I haven’t been reaping the rewards. Today, everything fell into place. I set my lap time in Q3 relatively early, because I felt sure that the tyres would be at their best on the first lap. The track and general conditions today helped us a lot. We saw that already during the test sessions here. Now we need to wait and see how everything pans out tomorrow in the race itself.”
Daniel Juncadella (23, Spain, Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 5th, (1:17.779)
“That was an excellent qualifying from my perspective. I’m very pleased. It was my best qualifying of the season so far, which shows that things are getting better with every race weekend. On the other hand, I made a small mistake on my final lap, which is a pity, as otherwise, I would be a bit further up the grid. Hopefully tomorrow, I can make more progress towards finishing on the podium. I’m really pleased for Pascal and would wish to congratulate him on his maiden pole position.”
Gary Paffett (33, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):8th, (1:18.291)
“Qualifying in general was very good. In these damp conditions, the car was working well. In Q2, I was in P5 and did a purple in the first sector, so I was pretty happy with the car. But unfortunately in Q3, I made a couple of small mistakes which meant that I didn’t make the most of the session. But in general, qualifying went well. Getting into Q3 is a big step forward and gives us a decent chance to have a good race.”
Christian Vietoris (25, Germany, Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 11th, (1:18.202)
“I found qualifying really hard work. It’s been a very odd weekend so far, all in all. We didn’t get much opportunity to drive in practice, unfortunately, so we’ll have to judge the qualifying results accordingly. Our pace was good in practice and we intended improving but were unable to test the changes we made before the qualifying session. Still, I think we can drive a strong race tomorrow.”
Robert Wickens (25, Canada, FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 12th, (1:18.250)
“That was a not an easy qualifying. The track was still wet in many places. Putting a complete, decent lap together in those conditions is never easy. I didn’t even post a single lap in Q1, so everything was new in Q2. To be honest, the whole session was tough. We should never start a qualifying with only 15 minutes under our belts. I got stuck in traffic quite a bit and was blocked a few times. Unfortunately, Vitaly spun on my flying lap, so I had to ease off. It’s a pity, since otherwise, I would have had a good chance going through into Q3, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes in the DTM.”
Vitaly Petrov (29, Russia, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé): 14th, (1:18.314)
“That was a very difficult day today for all of us drivers. We were waiting in the garage for around six hours. In one way I’m pretty happy because the team was doing a fantastic job and the car ran brilliantly. But on the other hand, I think I was unlucky with the laps today. If I’d had a normal practice session, maybe we would have a better result to show for it. But I think we can feel satisfied with the result today.”
Paul Di Resta (28, Scotland, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé):22th, (1:18.699)
“It’s always difficult on a drying track. Unfortunately I locked the front end at turn 6 and lost a lot of time on a good lap. Vitaly spun on my second run. The sector was yellow flagged, which stopped me from improving my time, unfortunately.”
Wolfgang Schattling, Head of Motorsport Marketing & Communications:
“We’re obviously delighted that Pascal has now secured his maiden DTM pole. All season, he’s been showing that he has the necessary composure and focus to succeed. Nothing easily throws him off course. Pascal is certainly a diamond in the rough in German motorsport, and we have high expectations for him. We have no fewer than three cars in the Top Eight, which is a good result for us. After the test sessions here, we had hoped to give a better account of ourselves than in some of the previous races. However, there were highly variable and difficult track conditions in qualifying, which Pascal nonetheless coped with very well. But we won’t know how convincing we will look over the full distance until tomorrow.”
Source: Mercedes Motorsport