DTM

Hockenheimring: Mercedes-Benz qualifying report

DTM report and quotes - Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett is on pole for his 60th DTM race this Sunday in Hockenheim where the British driver gained the upper hand as the first qualifying session of the year got under way and posted a time of ...

DTM report and quotes - Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett is on pole for his 60th DTM race this Sunday in Hockenheim where the British driver gained the upper hand as the first qualifying session of the year got under way and posted a time of 1'33.14.

Bruno Spengler and Jamie Green will both be on the second row of the grid.

Paffett's pole position is the 50th pole for Mercedes-Benz in the new DTM series since the year 2000 and their 99th pole overall.

A Mercedes-Benz driver has bagged the best start position in Hockenheim for the eighth time in this new DTM series and for the 16th time in DTM history.

Paul Di Resta came home in sixth position during Q3. He will be on the third row of the grid for the race at Baden-Wurttemberg's Hockenheimring.

Maro Engel progressed to the second part of qualifying in a GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class and finished in tenth place. Chinese driver CongFu Cheng was impressive at his first DTM qualifying.

He made Q2 and will have start number 14 as he debuts in the stern AMG Mercedes C-Class.

Susie Stoddart and Ralf Schumacher will be in P15 and P16 for the opening race of the season. Scottish driver David Coulthard will make his DTM debut from P17 this Sunday in the Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class.

Gary Paffett (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) pole position (1'33.214):
"I am really happy to start the new season with pole position. I thank my team, the guys did a great job. We have a very good technical package and I look forward to Sunday's race."

Bruno Spengler (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Class) third (1'33.319):
"A good qualifying for me, in third place I will start right behind Gary on the clean side of the track. At turn two, there was dirt on the surface and at the hairpin I made a mistake under braking, therefore, I was not able to set a better time."

Jamie Green (Junge Sterne AMG Mercedes C-Class) fourth (1'33.389):
"I am happy to have finished among the top four. Our team did a great job and I am confident for tomorrow's race."

Paul Di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class) sixth (1'33.193):
"I am disappointed. There was a lot of dirt on the track from a car ahead of me, that was it."

Maro Engel (GQ AMG Mercedes C-Class) 10th (1'33.160):
"The team showed what they are capable of. However, I had expected a better result and tomorrow I want to score points."

CongFu Cheng (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) 14th (1'33.738):
"14th on the grid is not too bad for my first DTM race. I like the track and I didn't have any technical problem, I just need some time to adjust."

Susie Stoddart (TV-Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) 15th (1'34.118):
"I am disappointed because I missed the second round by only six thousandths of a second."

Ralf Schumacher (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class) 16th (1'34.361):
"My first set of tyres didn't work as well as I had expected and with the second set, I just ran out of time. I will put this behind me and focus on tomorrow's race when I will push hard."

David Coulthard (Deutsche Post AMG Mercedes C-Class) 17th (1'34.791):
"It was a lot more difficult than I had expected after the tests. Moreover, I had a problem with the balance of the car and suffered from understeer so I was not able to push harder. But Mucke Motorsport is an experienced team and supports me very well. With a good start, I should be able to achieve a better result tomorrow."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
"Pole like Paffett, that fits, congratulations to Gary and the HWA team under Gerhard Ungar, everybody did a great job. It is the 50th pole since the start of the new DTM in 2000 and the 99th since Mercedes-Benz entered the DTM as a works team. Last Tuesday, Gary was stranded in China, like myself, and today on Saturday he is on pole, that shows his world class."

"The season starts well for us with this first performance check. Three Mercedes on the first two rows and four C-Class cars among the first three rows are a great result, well done, guys. CongFu Cheng has a good debut with 14th on the grid, compliments. As expected, David first learned it the hard way today, but, don't worry, he is a strong racer. That Ralf was out with his second set of tyres too late was our mistake, sorry for that. In tomorrow's race we want to achieve a similar result like in today's qualifying."

-source: mb

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