Gary Paffett, driving the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, finished second and put Mercedes-AMG Motorsport on the podium for their 400th DTM/ITC race. The second place result brings the total to 522 podium finishes for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the DTM/ITC. This race, marking a special milestone, in front of 79,500 spectators over the weekend and was a good accomplishment with a safety car period, changeable weather conditions and plenty of scraps for position.
Gary Paffett (36, England): “Today’s race was like a rollercoaster ride. After the restart, I was in fourth place. I got away pretty well, but on Turn 4, I went onto the grass and dropped down the field. After that, I thought it would be difficult to get into the points. But we made a perfect decision on the pit stop and switched to wets at just the right moment. The car was then really fast. I overtook Marco and went hunting for Jamie. The first time I saw the board at the pit wall, he was 16 seconds ahead of me, but by the end of the race, this was down to just four. You must never give up and always fight to the end. All in all, it was an incredible start to the season for the DTM: in both races, all three manufacturers were on the podium, and each time it was three different drivers.”
Gary Paffet, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport C 63 DTM Driver
Lucas Auer (22, Austria): “Congratulations to Gary on finishing second. It was a tough race. Due to the difficult conditions, there were times when I had no idea what position I was in. After the pit stop, I thought I was last, whereas in fact I was fourth. So I am really happy. Maybe we stayed out a bit too long, but on the other hand, the rain might have stopped, and then it would have been the perfect decision. Essentially, I’m satisfied with the result. The restart – which is new this season – was crazy. You must be ready to put your foot down at any moment. If your reactions are just one-tenth too slow, you drop down the field, but if you’re too early, you get penalised.”
Paul Di Resta, driving the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, and Maro Engel, driving the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM SILBERPFEIL Energy, also finished in the points. Di Resta crossed the finish line in 6th place, Engel was tenth. Edoardo Mortara, driving the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM BWT, started the race in forth. The Italian dropped down the field after a scrap at the start but fought his way up into third place following the safety car period. However, Mortara fell back to eighth place after a spin in conditions made difficult by light drizzle. He finally finished the race in thirteenth.
Paul Di Resta (31, Scotland): “A disappointing day for me. The race was a mess, but more might have been possible. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding at the pit stop. It’s difficult to communicate with one another during the race due to the radio ban. That cost us quite a bit, and we could only manage P6. I’m now going to focus on the next race weekend at the Lausitzring.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM: “What a sensational race by Gary. He put the setbacks from the start of the race behind him and chased up the field like crazy. Finishing in P2 in these conditions was a superb performance. We’ve made a good start to the season, which was obviously important for the whole team, with a win yesterday and second place today. Congratulations to everyone in the team.”