Perfect start to anniversary season for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: Gary Paffett and Lucas Auer secured a one-two win in the first race of the new 2018 DTM season.
This was Paffett’s first DTM victory since 2013 at the Lausitzring. The 2005 DTM champion finished on the top rung of the podium in the DTM for the 21st time and for the fifth time at the home race of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in Hockenheim. Earlier today, Gary had taken his 13th DTM pole position in the first qualifying session of the season. With 28 points, he leads the drivers’ standings from team-mate Lucas Auer (18 points) after the first race day of the year.
Lucas Auer, who won last year’s opening round, achieved his seventh DTM podium finish, his second at Hockenheim. Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport), Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz Motorsport PETRONAS), Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) and Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS), all finished in the points, producing a strong team performance to mark the start of this special anniversary season.
Edoardo Mortara opened the season with a P4 finish. The DTM champion from 2015, Pascal Wehrlein, finished fifth as he returned to the DTM after two years in Formula 1. Paul Di Resta booked P7 in the opener, finishing just in front of fellow Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM driver, Daniel Juncadella, who was back in the points after his one-year break from the DTM. He promptly went out and achieved a points-scoring finish in his first race despite injuring his collarbone during practice in early April.
Comments after the race
Gary Paffett: “The team did an excellent job today. The car was really good. Lucas passed me initially and I didn’t want to resist too much at that point. We then brought our pit stop forward, and the tyre change and out-lap were really strong, so I was able to pass him again. I managed to open up a gap subsequently and secure the win. It’s been a while since my last victory. We were often close to winning during the interim period and it’s a terrific reward for me and the team for all our hard work in recent years.”
Lucas Auer : “That was unfortunate, because up to the pit stop, I held the lead. And of course, I wanted to win the race! But tomorrow is another day. I always have the best wheel-to-wheel battles with Timo Glock – they are always really tight and of a high quality. We have a good package, and today we placed all six cars in the Top Ten. It could not be any better.”
Source: Mercedes-AMG DTM