Mercedes press release
• Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class) qualified on the front row for the second time in 2011
• Mercedes-Benz on the front row for the sixth time in seven races
• Four C-Class drivers in the top eight qualifying positions
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Class) will start his home race, the seventh round of the 2011 DTM series at Brands Hatch on Sunday (start: 14:00 BST, from 13:40 live on ARD television), from second position as the best-placed Mercedes-Benz driver. Paffett posted a time of 42.288 seconds in the one-lap shootout at the end of qualifying. Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) secured fourth position on the grid with a time of 42.345 seconds. The British driver has progressed through to the final part of qualifying in all of the last four DTM rounds.
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) secured the sixth fastest time in qualifying, but because in second practice on Saturday morning the Canadian driver used a set of tyres that were not authorised for use, he was penalized two positions on the grid and will start the race from eighth. In his place, Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class / 42.080) will start the seventh race of the season from sixth position.
Qualifying 1: The first part of qualifying was stopped with nine minutes still on the clock after an accident involving Audi driver Filipe Albuquerque. All the other drivers automatically went through to Q2.
Qualifying 2: Ralf Schumacher posted the fastest time of 41.917 seconds in Q2. Gary Paffett was second. Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class / 42.090) and ChristianVietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class / 42.093) finished in P10 and P11 respectively. Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class / 42.223), David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class / 42.320) and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class / 42.554) came home in P13, 16 and 17. Just 0.186 seconds covered positions one to twelve.
Comments on qualifying:
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO AMG Mercedes C-Cass) - second (42.288):
"I'm very happy and pleased with second place in qualifying. It wasn't easy to make it through to the Top 4 shootout as it's always very tight at Brands Hatch. My C-Class ran well and I'm looking forward to the race. Rain is forecast for Sunday - that suits me, because I love driving in the wet. I think I'm ready."
Jamie Green (AMG Mercedes C-Class) - fourth (42.345):
"It was a very positive qualifying session for me. I posted the fastest lap in the third segment of qualifying and made no mistakes in Q4 - which means, unfortunately, I was just lacking a little speed at the end. Perhaps I ran too many laps in Q3, which meant I couldn't set a better time on the tyres because they were that bit older. I feel quite confident about the race since my C-Class is very well-balanced. If all goes well, tomorrow could be my first win of the season."
Ralf Schumacher (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) - sixth (42.080):
"My last set of tyres didn't perform as well as expected, but apart from that, the setup on my C-Class was very good. I was quickest overall in second practice this morning, so more should have been possible in qualifying. Overtaking on this track is actually very difficult, but rain is forecast for Sunday, so anything can happen."
Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) - eighth (42.068):
"Starting eighth on the grid isn't the end of the world - tomorrow's race is 98 laps long, and a lot can happen over that distance. Tomorrow is another day and I'll try to get as close to the front as possible. I'm not concerned about championship positions today - the points aren't awarded until the race tomorrow."
Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) - tenth (42.090):
"Overall, I'm satisfied with my performance during qualifying, although unfortunately it wasn't quite good enough for a place in the Top 8. Many thanks to my team for all their good work this weekend. Now I'm just looking forward to the race."
Christian Vietoris (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) - eleventh (42.093):
"For me, qualifying went pretty much according to plan, but unfortunately I just missed out on a place in the Top 8 - with the lap being so short, the times were very close. Of course, after winning my first GP2 Series race in Belgium in the wet, I'm hoping for rain tomorrow."
Renger van der Zande (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 13th (42.223):
"My C-Class was certainly quick enough today, but unfortunately I made a small error on the last turn during my flying lap - that probably cost me a place in the Top 8. It was my mistake, but it happens sometimes. I hope I can move up the field in the race."
David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 16th (42.320):
"Today I could have done better than 16th, but I had problems with the balance and I struggled with oversteer - the setup wasn't perfect and the car didn't feel absolutely right. When it's as close as it is here at Brands Hatch, sometimes little things like the wind or a minor difference in car settings can be the decisive factor."
It is a bit of a handicap for Bruno to be back in eighth place, but nothing that he and his team can't handle
Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) - 17th (42.554):
"I'm obviously not too happy with P17. I did my best and really pushed hard - but unfortunately it just wasn't enough. For the race itself, I want it to rain, because I think I'll do better in the wet."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"After four poles in the first six races, this time we're starting with Gary second on the grid. It is a bit of a handicap for Bruno to be back in eighth place, but nothing that he and his team can't handle tomorrow. It should prove interesting, and tomorrow we will see who can produce the best speed over 98 laps. We've secured two victories at Brands Hatch in the last two years and our goal is to win again on Sunday."