Robert Wickens: “I feel more at ease in the car and think that we’ve turned a corner.”
For the first time since 1988, the Hungaroring, not far from Budapest, hosted the DTM this weekend. Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Robert Wickens (FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) placed eleventh on the DTM’s return to Hungary. Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) came home in P14. Colleagues Daniel Juncadella (Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Vitaly Petrov (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Paul Di Resta (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished in positions 16 to 18 respectively.
Winner of the previous race in Oschersleben Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) retired after 36 laps. Fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett ended the third race of the season after just one lap. His EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé was damaged in a contact with another vehicle, forcing him to retire his car to the pits.
The next race: The fourth round of the current DTM season will take place on the weekend of June 28th-29th at the Norisring in Nuremberg.
Robert Wickens (25, Canada, FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - 11th): “Given our current situation, eleventh place is a decent result, even though we narrowly missed out on the points today. I knew that I was taking something of a risk starting on the option tyres from seventeenth, because if you then get stuck in traffic, you can’t exploit the advantage of the tyre to the full. But I was in seventh place for much of the race and was hoping to hang in there. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. Our pace on the prime tyres was OK, and the crew executed some fantastic pit stops. Now we have to stick together as a team and carry on working hard. We’ve made some degree of progress since the start of the season. I feel more at ease in the car and think that we’ve turned a corner.”
Pascal Wehrlein (19, Germany, gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - 14th): “My start was mediocre. I couldn’t see the starting lights and was looking around for the secondary display. But then everything went so fast that the start simply passed me by. Next, I had the problem that I was held up in traffic for too long. Even so, I tried my very hardest. The stint on the option tyres went well, but I had lost so much time on the first 15 laps that a better result was never going to be possible.”
Daniel Juncadella (23, Spain, Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - 16th): “That was a lonely race for me. I tried to get the best out of the car, but we still have a lot of problems that prevented us from achieving a better result. To be honest, there’s not a deal left to say. We mustn’t lose heart, continue to work hard and hopefully improve at the Norisring.”
Vitaly Petrov (29, Russia, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - 17th): “So I’ve gone and finished seventeenth again. Perhaps it’s time to change the number on my car to 17 as well? It may sound strange, but I’m actually quite satisfied with the race. I feel that my driving has improved, and I was able to close the gap on the cars in front of me. In fact, I was a bit faster than them. I managed to gain a few positions on Turn 1 and then decided to stay out on the second corner. The accident forced me to take evasive action, which meant that I lost those positions again. That was a real shame. But all in all, I’m satisfied, and the car was handling a lot better. That’s a positive feeling that I’ll take with me to the Norisring.”
Paul Di Resta (28, Scotland, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - 18th): “That was not a good day as far as I’m concerned. Martin Tomczyk hit me on the sixth or seventh lap running through Turn 1. Something went on the steering and I could no longer utilise the car’s full potential. Nevertheless, we stayed out on track, hoping for the unexpected to happen. Unfortunately, it didn’t, and it’s a real shame that the weekend had to end like that. I’ll try now to focus on the positive feeling I had yesterday and will continue to work with the guys to get the car back up front as best we can.”
Christian Vietoris (25, Germany, Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - retired - classified as 20th): “That was a tough weekend for me. My car was damaged on the first lap and my race was over after that. In the end, the problem got so bad that I could no longer continue and had to retire. The Norisring is a track that actually suits Mercedes quite well. With that thought in mind, I hope that we can be back in the points there.”
Gary Paffett (33, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - retired): “I got away really well off the line and moved several places up the field, but then I took a hard knock in the second turn. My car’s rear end was totalled, ending my race. I hope to have a better weekend at the Norisring.”
Wolfgang Schattling, Head of DTM Marketing & Communication: “Our congratulations go to Marco Wittmann and to BMW on their victory here in Budapest. With regard to our own finishing positions, we hadn’t really expected any better in this race. The lap times set by our drivers and the progress we have made with our car this weekend have, however, made us feel more positive about things. I obviously can’t promise anything, but I’m hoping that we’ll see a further step in this direction at the Norisring. Robert drove an excellent race, and it’s a pity that he wasn’t rewarded with a point for that.”