Ulrich Fritz: “To lose two cars on the final lap when they were heading for a points-scoring finish is simply not acceptable.”
Mercedes-AMG driver Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) started the second half of the DTM season with a P2. This was the 2005 champion’s 35th podium finish of his DTM career. Five Mercedes-AMG drivers came home in the Top Ten in the second race of the weekend.
The Austrian Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) booked seventh place in his home race at Spielberg. DTM rookie Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM) finished directly behind him in eighth position to secure his first DTM points. Chistian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) placed ninth and tenth respectively.
The behaviour of Audi and Timo Scheider is extremely unsportsmanlike in our view.
Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) were heading for a points-scoring finish when they were deliberately pushed into the gravel bed by Audi driver Timo Scheider on the last lap following a radio communication from his team and were subsequently forced to retire.
That resulted in Wehrlein losing vital points in the championship fight with Audi driver Mattias Ekström, who won the race and is now 17 points up on Wehrlein who is third overall; Wehrlein had a lead of eight points in the drivers' standings before the second race at Spielberg.
A total of 52,000 spectators came through the gates during the weekend to watch the two races. The second race was staged in difficult weather conditions and had to be started behind the safety car due to heavy rain. Daniel Juncadella (PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) had to park up his car just a few minutes before the end of the race.
The next race weekend: Races 11 and 12 of the 2015 DTM season will be staged August 28th-30th at the Moscow Raceway.
Comments after the race
Gary Paffett (34, England - P2 / EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM): “That was a very good race. It would, of course, have been even nicer to finish on top, but Matthias and I pushed each other. I got closer and closer to him and thought I'd catch him, but then he countered and so, it was obvious that it wasn’t going to be possible. It was a tough race in difficult conditions, but I'm pleased with the result.”
Lucas Auer (20, Austria - P7 / BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM ): “If someone had said to me yesterday that I would finish seventh today, I would have signed on the dotted line. Today's race proved once again that the rain is totally unpredictable. I coped relatively well, much better than in qualifying. I’ve learned a lot once again this weekend and hope that things will now continue on this positive note.”
Maximilian Götz (29, Germany - P8 / Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Team Mücke): “That was an exciting race. I got a good start and was able to overtake two cars straightaway, after which I found a good rhythm. We then made an early pit stop to get out of traffic. That was the right decision, making it possible for me to have a clear run and good pace. Unfortunately, I made a mistake with just a few laps to go, which lost me a position. That was a pity, obviously, but it wasn’t an easy race. Still, I'm pleased to have achieved my first points in the DTM.”
Christian Vietoris (26, Germany - P9 / Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM): “That was an extremely tough race, tougher than expected. The car didn’t drive all that well. I had a lot of problems with the rear end and even came off track a few times. Still, I was at least able to score a few points. However, our aim was to do better today, but that’s just racing. There are bad days too sometimes.”
Paul Di Resta (29, Scotland - P10 / Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Team HWA): “Visibility was very poor in these difficult conditions, and unfortunately, I made two mistakes. It’s a shame, because the car was very strong. After that, we were able to battle our way back, but overtaking was hard. I have to apologise to the team because it could have been a very good day for us. Sorry, guys.”
Robert Wickens (26, Canada - retired / Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Team HWA): “It was an OK race. Basically I was running where I started the entire time. Unfortunately, we had a very slow pit stop which threw me back to P9. Then I had to fight really hard to work my way back up the field – until Scheider deliberately gave me a nudge on the last lap. That was totally lacking in sportsmanship.”
Pascal Wehrlein (20, Germany - retired / Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Team HWA): “After this race, it’s all about the incident on the last lap, obviously. Audi’s and Timo Scheider’s actions were totally lacking in sportsmanship and cost me vital points in the championship battle. Such a thing should never happen in our sport. Nevertheless, I will, of course, not give up and try to turn my anger into positive energy in order to fight back with good results in the next races.”
Daniel Juncadella (24, Spain - retired / Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Team Mücke): “Unfortunately from my perspective, that was a day to forget. We made the wrong choices in qualifying and in our strategy. Otherwise, a Top Five finish would have been on the cards. In the race, absolutely everything went wrong – the wrong pit stop at the beginning, then I spun off and lost a lot of time. Now I’m focusing my thoughts on the next race weekend.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “I’m pleased for Gary that he was able to drive a very good race and secure P2. Basically, we were able to turn in a very strong performance during the whole weekend in Spielberg. All in all, though, we cannot be satisfied with the result. To lose two cars on the final lap when they were heading for a points-scoring finish is simply not acceptable. The behaviour of Audi and Timo Scheider is extremely unsportsmanlike in our view. To deliberately take the championship leader out of the race when prompted has nothing to do with fair play and is not what we want to see in the DTM. Most of all, I feel really sorry for Pascal who has lost vital points in the championship race as a result.”