Fourth podium for Mercedes Junior Christian Vietoris (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé).
In difficult weather conditions on Sunday afternoon, Mercedes Junior Robert Wickens (STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) won the seventh DTM race of the season at the Nürburgring, watched by 84.000 spectators (over the whole weekend).
This is the Canadian’s maiden DTM victory in his second season in the world’s most popular international touring car series. Wickens is the first Mercedes Junior to win a DTM race. It was the third podium finish of the season for the Canadian after securing podiums at Brands Hatch and at the Norisring season highlight.
Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) took the chequered flag in P17 after a tough race. Paffett's team-mate Roberto Merhi (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished 19th. Daniel Juncadella (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) retired.
Overall standings: Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) leads the drivers’ standings on 106 points. Christian Vietoris (71 points) is second and Robert Wickens (70 points) third. Team STIHL / AMG Mercedes top the team standings on 141 points. Mercedes-Benz is second in the manufacturers' standings on 229 points behind BMW (251 points).
The next race: The eighth race weekend of the 2013 DTM season will be staged in Oschersleben from 14th to 15th September.
Robert Wickens (24, Canada, STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / Winner): "It feels absolutely fantastic to have won the race at the Nürburgring. I started from seventh position on the grid and honestly did not really know what to expect. Then came the rain and everything got a bit crazy. For a while, I didn’t know what position I was in and how fast I was going. But then I was able to overtake the three cars in front of me, which brought me success in the end."
Christian Vietoris (24, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / Third place): "We knew we had a great car, and the team has done a fantastic job throughout the weekend. My DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé drove really well both yesterday on the dry track and today in the wet, so a big ‘Thank you’ to the whole team. There are still three races left and I think if we can continue to secure points consistently, then we will be in the running for the championship. I'm currently in second place, which is, of course, just a snapshot and we’re still quite a way off the final goal."
Pascal Wehrlein (18, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / Tenth place): "I’m very pleased with my performance today. I was the fastest in the race at times and I was able to overtake quite a few drivers. Unfortunately, there was an annoying bit of contact with Roberto which resulted in a spin. While it felt great that I was able to attack again and finish in the points, it’s no compensation for what I might’ve otherwise achieved today."
Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 17th place): "Unfortunately, apart from the enormous disappointment I’m feeling, I’m coming away with nothing from the Nürburgring. The whole race was a nightmare, and everything that could go wrong did. The weather today threw a huge spanner in the works and completely messed up our whole strategy. I’m glad that we now have a few weeks off and that I can digest what happened in peace. After that, we’ll be back on the offensive again and make the most of the final race in Oschersleben."
Roberto Merhi (22, Spain, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 19th place): „Unfortunately, the race was a repeat performance of qualifying. Due to the early onset of rain, I was put onto the back foot as regards strategy and had to pit three times. After that, the race was all but over for me.“
Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / retired): "The first few laps were really hard, but things got better after my pit stop. It’s a pity, but I then had an unfortunate contact with Timo Glock. I hit him and was subsequently handed a drive-through penalty. That, of course, took time and I lost my rhythm. And then to crown it all, I made a mistake and lost the car’s rear, bringing my race to an early end."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "That was a great race for spectators and the best advert for the DTM. Conditions were very tricky for the drivers at the start of the race and it was extremely difficult to make the right decisions regarding choice of tyres and strategy. We made the correct call with Robert and Christian, but unfortunately not where Gary and Roberto are concerned.
But that's racing. We are a team – we win together and we lose together. Christian and Robert are now placed second and third in the overall standings, which just goes to show how quickly things can change in the DTM. There are three races left this season and we will not give up, definitely not.“