Gary Paffett back in front ahead of the finale

Gary Paffett regained the lead in the drivers’ standings after a really exciting race

  • Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS) ended the race in fourth place. His main rival for the title, Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS), was eighth
  • Ahead of Sunday’s final round, Gary (239 points) has a six-point lead on Paul (233 points) and is 15 points up on Audi driver René Rast (224 points) in the championship rankings
  • Edoardo Mortara (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport) booked tenth place in the penultimate race of the season
  • Gary Paffett: “The result was disappointing. We had great pace in the race and a margin on René in the first stint.”
  • Ulrich Fritz: “We’ll definitely have to make sure tonight that we can sort something out. It’s going to be a tough fight for the title tomorrow.”

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).

Looking ahead to race 2: The last round of the 2018 DTM season starts on Sunday at 13:30 CEST (live on SAT.1 at 13:00 CEST). Third practice will take place before that at 09:00 CEST followed by the second qualifying at 11:10 CEST. During each race weekend, we will provide live timing data, live commentary, fan voting and exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team on our website at: www.mercedes-amg-motorsport.com/dtm.

Comments after the race

Gary Paffett (37, England):

  • P4
  • Car number: 2
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“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.”

Paul Di Resta (32, Scotland):

  • P8
  • Car number: 3
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t my day today. P6 on the grid was not ideal, especially with Gary and René starting in front of me. What’s more, Gary was able to halve my small lead with the two points gained in qualifying. In the race itself, there was then a lot of action, battling for position and the safety car. At first, it didn’ t look so bad, but ultimately, eighth place is a disappointing result for me. Now I have to give it everything I’ve got in the second qualifying session tomorrow to start from the front and try to make up the six points on Gary. Nothing is lost yet. It will certainly be an exciting final race.”

Edoardo Mortara (31, Italy):

  • P10
  • Car number: 48
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“That was a very tough race for me. I started out from ninth place and finished tenth in the end. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the necessary pace today. The car skidded around a lot, and there wasn’t much I could do about it. I even spun off track a couple of times. We now need to understand what happened today and why we were so down on performance, relatively speaking.”

Pascal Wehrlein (23, Germany):

  • P11
  • Car number: 94
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“Unfortunately, I had no pace at all today, which is a pity, because this is our last weekend with Mercedes in the DTM. It’s a shame, but nothing went right for me today.”

Daniel Juncadella (26, Spain):

  • P14
  • Car number: 23
  • Team: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“The first 45 minutes were really good fun. Up to that point, it had been a really good race for me. My start was really good, and the strategy with an early pit stop worked very well. This put me in third place, and I was looking after my tyres to make sure they would go the distance. In the worst-case scenario, I might have finished fourth, because Timo was coming up pretty fast. But then the safety car came out, and after that, Bruno (Spengler) pushed me off the track. As a result, I unfortunately ended up outside the points. This is obviously a disappointing result for me.”

Lucas Auer (24, Austria):

  • retired
  • Car number: 22
  • Team: SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
  • Car: Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM

“An unfortunate and disappointing ending to my race, especially as I’d been in pole position. My start was good and I let Gary through, but then, the accelerator pedal got stuck, and I had to pit, because there was no way I could continue, unfortunately.”

Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:

“Unfortunately, that was not the race we wanted. Our race pace was just not good enough. It looked good still until the safety car came out, but after that, the others were simply faster. We’ll definitely have to make sure tonight that we can sort something out. It’s going to be a tough fight for the title tomorrow.”

Race results: Top Ten

Pos Driver Manufacturer Time
1 René Rast Audi 56:59.934
2 Robin Frijns Audi +0.354
3 Timo Glock BMW +1.856
4 Gary Paffett Mercedes-AMG +2.641
5 Loic Duval Audi +5.136
6 Mike Rockenfeller Audi +6.066 
7 Nico Müller Audi +6.982
8 Paul Di Resta Mercedes-AMG +7.952
9 Bruno Spengler BMW +8.709
10 Edoardo Mortara Mercedes-AMG +10.023

Drivers‘ Championship

Pos Driver Manufacturer Points
1 Gary Paffett Mercedes-AMG 239
2 Paul Di Resta Mercedes-AMG 233
(…)      
6 Edoardo Mortara Mercedes-AMG 140
7 Lucas Auer Mercedes-AMG 121
8 Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes-AMG 108
(…)      
15 Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG 61

Manufacturers‘ Championship

Pos Manufacturer Points
1 Mercedes-AMG 887
2 BMW 581
3 Audi 550

Teams‘ Championship

Pos Team Points
1 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport PETRONAS 347
2 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport REMUS 294
3 SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG Motorsport 261

Press release Mercedes-AMG, picture Ludovic Carnal/Sport-Auto.ch

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