The penultimate race of the 2018 DTM season at Hockenheim turned into a real thriller as Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) regained the lead in the championship with a fourth-place finish. His team-mate, Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS), had led the standings by two points in the run-up to this race. Ahead of Sunday’s final round, Gary is on 239 points and thus has a six-point lead on the Scotsman (233 points). Audi driver René Rast (224 points) kept his title hopes alive with a win on Saturday.
Gary led the race for a long time but dropped back behind Rast in a spectacular battle, during which the lead changed hands several times. He then lost two more positions to Robin Frijns (Audi) and Timo Glock (BMW) following a safety car period shortly before the end.
Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) secured the final point for tenth place. Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) finished in P11 just out of the points. Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS) came home in 14th position.
Lucas Auer (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) had secured his ninth DTM pole and his second at Hockenheim earlier this morning, but in the race, unfortunately, the Austrian driver was forced to retire his car after seven laps due to problems with the accelerator.
The manufacturers’ competition was decided during the penultimate race weekend in Spielberg. Mercedes-AMG (887 points) are the new champions. In the team stakes, it was already apparent before the final weekend that the title would definitely go to one of the three teams with the three-pointed star. We now know which squad are the new team champions. After 19 of 20 races this season, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS are on 347 points and can no longer be caught by Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS (294 points) or by SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport (261 points).
Gary Paffett (37, England): “The result was disappointing. We had great pace in the race and a margin on René in the first stint. He gained a lot on us in the pit stop and overtook me shortly after that with DRS. Then we had a bit of a battle, and I actually stopped using DRS. I was quite comfortable just sitting behind him, because I thought we had the pace to challenge him later in the race. I was in P2 without any threat from behind. Then the safety car came out for debris on the track, and after that it was very hard to wake my old tyres up. Then, on the restart, someone went off and the whole track was covered in dust. I nearly went off something like ten times because it was impossible to get any temperature back in the tyres.”
Source: Mercedes-AMG DTM