This weekend marked the DTM’s Russian premiere at the 2.555km Moscow Raceway. 45,000 spectators came to watch during the course of the weekend. Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) placed fifth in the first race in the world’s most popular touring car series ever to take place on Russian soil. Paffett is in third place overall in the standings after six out of ten races this season.
Mercedes Juniors, Roberto Merhi (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Daniel Juncadella (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished the sixth race of the season in positions 14 and 18.
Overall standings: Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) won the first race at the Moscow Raceway. Rockenfeller on 94 points leads from Bruno Spengler (BMW / 67 points) in the standings. Gary Paffett is in third place (57 points), just one point up on Christian Vietoris (56 points). STIHL / AMG Mercedes head the team standings on 101 points. Mercedes-Benz is second (188 points) in the manufacturers' championship behind BMW (217 points).
The next race: The seventh race weekend of the 2013 DTM season will be staged at the Nürburgring, 17th-18th August. Comments after the Race
Gary Paffett (32, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Fifth place): "I'm quite happy with fifth place, since there was nothing more doing today. I got off to a good start and was able to move up a few places, but unfortunately, we just didn’t have the pace of the front-runners. My race was mainly with Jamie, whom I was able to overtake just before the end, luckily. We have secured vital points today."
Christian Vietoris (24, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Tenth place): "I found the weekend quite difficult. But still, I’ve come away with something, even if it’s only one point. Better than nothing! I think we were just a bit too slow today. On the previous two tracks, however, we were very quick. Now we have to analyse where the problem lies. But there’s still everything to play for this season, and anything can happen. We now need to continue to secure points and mount an all-out attack in the coming races."
Pascal Wehrlein (18, Germany, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Eleventh place): "My start wasn’t too bad and I moved up a couple of places. After that it was kind of weird today. The option tyres wore down pretty quickly, although I was actually trying to nurse the tyres. We need to see what the analysis brings up. I was again doing pretty well on the prime tyre but unfortunately, my pit stop didn’t go as well as it could have done, which cost us additional time.“
Robert Wickens (24, Canada, STIHL Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Twelfth place): "I got away to a good start. The first stint went according to plan and I found myself in a very promising position. After that, I just didn’t have the performance to stay in the points. It wasn’t possible to do better than P12 today. Of course, I'm disappointed to come away empty-handed this weekend, but I'm focusing now on the next race and hope that things go better at the Nürburgring.“
Roberto Merhi (22, Spain, THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, 14th place): "That was a race to forget – not a thing worked for me. I had a problem right at the start but nevertheless moved up a few places. I then immediately dropped back again, as I remained on the outside running through Turn Four. In retrospect, that was the wrong thing to do.
When I switched to the option tyres, there were many slower cars in front of me, which was unfortunate. I gained a lot of places in the race once more but still need to improve my qualifying performance in the coming championship rounds. Finishing in the points will then be possible once more.“
Daniel Juncadella (22, Spain, stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, 18th place): "This race here in Moscow was just awful. The first lap went well, but then I was hit from behind and pushed into the man in front. Then Miguel Molina caught my rear and my car was pretty badly damaged. After that, it was game over as regards pace. Actually, there isn’t much more to say – I was just doing the rounds. I hope that we’ll be able to build again on the good results from the Lausitzring and the Norisring in the next race and that I can still secure some more points this season.“
Wolfgang Schattling, Head of DTM Management: "The DTM debut at the Moscow Raceway leaves us with mixed feelings. First of all, congratulations to the event organisers: We have had a superb fixture, which 45,000 fans attended in the course of the weekend – the DTM has clearly found a new home here in Moscow and many new, enthusiastic fans.
The track is a great challenge for the drivers and engineers and on Sunday provided the ideal venue for an exciting race with plenty of thrilling scraps and overtaking manoeuvres. Unfortunately, we were not as competitive this race weekend as in the previous rounds at the Lausitzring and in Nuremberg.
Gary achieved the best possible result for us with a fifth place and we have to admit that our rivals were simply faster here this weekend. That thought will make us work even harder in the coming days, so that at the next race weekend at the Nürburgring, which we know inside out, we can build on the good results from the previous few races.“