Robert Wickens: "I couldn’t have wished for a better day today. This win is like a dream come true.“
Mercedes-Benz DTM driver Robert Wickens (FREE MAN'S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) won this Sunday’s DTM season highlight at the Norisring in front of 121,000 spectators. The Canadian started the race from pole position as he did last year. Conditions on Nuremberg’s street circuit were tough with light rain falling at times, but Wickens built up a lead of 23.9 seconds, securing a supreme start/finish victory and his second DTM success.
Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) finished fifth after a no-fault collision. Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Daniel Juncadella (Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) and Paul Di Resta (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupe) came home in positions twelve, 13, and 15 respectively. Vitaly Petrov (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) took the chequered flag in P20. Winner of the Oschersleben DTM fixture Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) was lying in second place during the closing stages of the race when a problem with a right rear wheel forced him to retire.
The next race: The fifth round of the DTM will take place on the weekend of July 12th-13th at the Moscow Raceway in Russia.
Robert Wickens (25, Canada, FREE MAN’S WORLD Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - Winner): “I couldn’t have wished for a better day today. Our good pace in practice and my pole position came right out of the blue after a tough start to the season. And then today’s win as well, it’s like a dream come true for me! Conditions were very difficult as was the case with my maiden DTM victory at the Nürburgring last year. But I’ve always done well in conditions like these. The team has worked hard to improve our performance and this success is just reward for their efforts. The weather was something else, though, and we never knew if it would go on raining or turn dry. My team did a fantastic job and always kept me informed as to whether I should continue to attack or nurse the tyres. Thanks guys, you are all really great!”
Pascal Wehrlein (19, Germany, gooix Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - P25): “I think that fourth place would have been realistic today. Unfortunately, Adrian Tambay put me in a spin, damaging the entire left side of my car. Nevertheless, I tried to continue to attack and closed on Tambay towards the end. That shows that I was faster than him, which makes his actions even harder for me to understand. All in all, I'm pleased to finish in the points, though. Robert’s win is, of course, great for the team, especially since the Moscow Raceway is now next on the agenda which suits us a whole lot less.”
Gary Paffett (33, England, EURONICS Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - P12): “I got off to a good start, but unfortunately my tyres deteriorated so rapidly that I got overtaken by Pascal und Christian. We then decided to fit a fresh set of tyres, which allowed me to go faster. Unfortunately, the track dried up too quickly for my purposes, and I had to pit for a second time. So our strategy did not work out. And to cap it all, Martin Tomczyk spun me round, which cost me several more positions. We didn’t make the best of our opportunity to amass a big points haul at the Norisring, but at least Robert got the win and upheld the illustrious Mercedes record at this circuit.”
Daniel Juncadella (23, Spain, Petronas Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - P13): “That was a strange race from my perspective. On the second lap, I tried to go past Miguel Molina, but he didn’t leave me any room, so I spun round on the track and found myself at the back of the field. But at least my strategy was OK, which meant that I finished in 13th position. We now need to analyse the race in detail and try to improve for next time.”
Paul Di Resta (28, Scotland, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - P15): “My race was ruined even before the start. I’ve no idea what Jamie Green was playing at when he spun me round on the formation lap. From P2 on the grid, I was in with an excellent chance, but then something like that has to happen. So we tried a different strategy to get back to the front of the field. But when the track started to dry out and we had to make another pit stop, that was effectively the end of my race. The positive aspect of this weekend was that we had a fast car, which was apparent from Robert’s performance. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalise on that. But we’ll carry on fighting.”
Vitaly Petrov (29, Russia, DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé - P20): “We got strategy wrong today and made a mistake with the early tyre change, which meant I got to see nothing but blue flags and couldn’t find my rhythm. So that was my race finished.”
Christian Vietoris (25, Germany, Original-Teile Mercedes AMG C-Coupé -retired -classified 21st): “My retirement in today’s race has cost me valuable points in the championship. The rear right wheel wasn’t attached correctly on my final pit stop, and it worked loose so that I lost forward drive. Anything like that is obviously very annoying, especially after I had battled my way up to second place.”
Wolfgang Schattling, Head of DTM Marketing & Communication: “We are more than happy with this convincing victory. Robert has produced a top-notch performance this weekend. He was supremely fast both in the wet and in the dry. Robert showed last year with his maiden DTM victory at the Nürburgring that he can win in difficult conditions. Paul could also have finished on the podium today. Unfortunately, another driver caused him to spin during the safety car period at the start of the race, just as happened to Pascal and Gary subsequently in the race. But for these incidents, we might have achieved an even better team result, as in qualifying. While we are naturally disappointed with these losses in position through no fault of our own, we can be satisfied with the end result. We’ve won two out of four races despite a very tough start to the season, which shows that our team has worked brilliantly well and made the best of the situation.”