Hockenheim: Mercedes race report

Bruno Spengler after time penalty relegated from third to 14th @Six AMG Mercedes C-Class cars in the eight points positions Daniel la Rosa (TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished the 2007 DTM season opener in third place. After 27 laps, he came...

Bruno Spengler after time penalty relegated from third to 14th @Six AMG Mercedes C-Class cars in the eight points positions

Daniel la Rosa (TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished the 2007 DTM season opener in third place. After 27 laps, he came home 7.057sec behind winner Mattias Ekström and Martin Tomczyk (both Audi). Bruno Spengler finished third; however, he received a 50sec time penalty and dropped to 14th.

The C-Class covered also the following points positions: Alexandros Margaritis (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up fourth with the 2006 model ahead of rookie Paul di Resta (JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class) who was in the lead for nine laps with a 2005 car. Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home sixth ahead of Bernd Schneider (Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Gary Paffett (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), the 2005 Champion.

Mika Häkkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class) ended up 10th.

A crowd of 101,000 attended the 2007 season opener during the weekend.

Bruno Spengler, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007, 14th: "Apart from the accident on the opening lap it was a good race. I am happy that Tom and Alexandre are doing quite well after the accident. Following my first pitstop, I got stuck behind several other cars and I was not able to overtake them, which was crucial and cost me a possible win. During the last laps my powersteering did not work."

"Good to know, that the new C-Class is competitive right from the beginning. The time penalty which I received two hours after the race cost me six points. I am and always have been a fair driver and I am not known for pushing my rivals. With this background, it hurts twice as much to lose six points after a race accident - a very, very severe punishment. However, I will now fight even more -- with fair means, like before."

Daniel la Rosa, TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006, third: "I started well and had a good race. Unfortunately there was a problem with the powersteering in the end. Third place is a good start for the season and I am really happy."

Alexandros Margaritis, stern AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006, fourth: "After my suspension had broken in the warm-up this morning, I didn't expect to end up fourth. My team did a great job to repair the car for the race. I thank them all. "

Paul di Resta, JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class 2005, fifth: "It's great to lead so many laps in my first DTM race; however, I'm also disappointed that I dropped to fifth towards the end."

Jamie Green, Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007, sixth: "I am glad to score three points. Starting 13th this was not an easy task. At least my start of the season was better than last year when I had retired."

Bernd Schneider, Original-Teile AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007, seventh: "My start was not good and I lost two positions. Meanwhile all drivers in the DTM are so close together that it was not possible for me to move up further than seventh. If you want to finish on the podium you need a better grid position than ninth."

Gary Paffett, Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006, eighth: "The car performed well, but it was difficult to pass the many drivers in front of me. Next time we have to improve in qualifying to achieve a better race result."

Mika Häkkinen, AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007, 10th: "First of all I hope that Tom and Alexandre are doing well. After the promising test and practice results it was a difficult start of the season today. We will now focus on the next race to be well prepared. I put this weekend already behind me and look forward to Oschersleben. C you there."

Mathias Lauda, Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class 2006, 13th: "I am disappointed. After the re-start Vanina Ickx was in front of me and I lost a lot of time. Afterwards the gap was too big to catch up."

Susie Stoddart, TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class 2005, retired due to the accident on the first lap without her own fault: "After my good qualifying I am of course disappointed to retire so early. However, it is much more important that nothing serious happened to Tom and Alexandre. Due to the smoke I was not able to see anything and had no chance to avoid the collision."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: „Most important is, that Tom Kristensen and Alexandre Premat are obviously doing well now after the horrible crash on the opening lap. Congratulations to Abt-Audi, Mattias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk on their 1-2 victory. Today's race has been influenced strongly by the strategies. Bruno Spengler's third place is of course not the result we had wanted, particularly because we had the speed to win. We will now work even harder to have more cars up front from the second race in Oschersleben onwards."

"Two hours after the race, the stewards decided to relegate Bruno from third place because in their opinion he did not avoid an "avoidable accident" with Timo Scheider on the final lap. This means zero points instead of six for Bruno. In my sportsmanlike opinion an extremely severe penalty for a race accident. The HWA team appealed against this verdict."

-credit: mercedes

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Vanina Ickx , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandre Prémat , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green