Lausitz: Mercedes race report

Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) won the second round of the 2005 DTM at the Lausitzring. After 48 laps Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes) finished third behind Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM). With his fourth victory in...

Gary Paffett (DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes) won the second round of the 2005 DTM at the Lausitzring. After 48 laps Mika Häkkinen (Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes) finished third behind Tom Kristensen (Audi A4 DTM).

With his fourth victory in the championship, Paffett took the overall lead in the drivers' ranking with 18 points ahead Jean Alesi (AMG-Mercedes, 12 points), who had won the season opener at Hockenheim two weeks ago and came home seventh today. A crowd of 78,000 attended the event over the weekend.

Paffett started from pole position and accelerated into the lead. He lost the lead during his two compulsory pit stops on laps 17 (5.4sec) and 32 (5.3sec) only for a short time and won without problems. This success brought him additional satisfaction after he had been disqualified here after last year's victory.

At the start, Häkkinen improved from third on the grid to second at the first corner. After Paffett's first stop the Finn took the lead for two laps and came in for his first halt on lap 19. Due to a problem with the hydraulic jacks which delayed his departure, Häkkinen lost six seconds and dropped to third behind Kristensen.

He closed the gap to the Dane until his second pit stop on lap 36 (5.1sec) but did not manage to overtake. On lap 40 Mika set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:17.583 and crossed the finish line eight laps later 1.6sec behind the Audi achieving his first podium finish in his second race.

Alesi made his first pit stop on lap 11 (4.7 sec). When he rejoined the race the fuel can got stuck in the filler neck. He lost it only after a couple of corners. During Alesi's second stop on lap 26 (9.8sec) the nut at the right front wheel got stuck and he lost about five seconds.

Gary Paffett, DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG-Mercedes, winner:

"I had a very good start and pushed hard during the opening stages. Afterwards I was able to maintain my lead without problems. It was an easy race without fights. I'm happy that I could grind out last year's nick. It was great to be on the podium together with Mika."

Mika Häkkinen, Sport Edition AMG-Mercedes, third:

"I started really well and was able to open a gap ahead of the field together with Gary. Unfortunately, I lost several seconds during my first pit stop. However, I'm very happy with my third position and my first podium in the DTM. Congratulations to Gary and the entire HWA team. I'm now looking forward to the traditional Spa circuit which has many good memories for me."

Jean Alesi, AMG-Mercedes, seventh:

"I made a good start; however, there was a problem with a stuck wheel nut during my second pit stop. Two points are not bad, but I had expected to score more."

Bernd Schneider, Vodafone AMG-Mercedes, retired:

"From the halfway point of the race I lacked top speed. As the engine must last the entire season we decided to retire from the race. Now we are able to check what went wrong. It's a shame, because starting fifth on the grid I would have been able to score several points."

Jamie Green, Salzgitter AMG-Mercedes, retired:

"At the seventh corner on the twelfth lap I braked as late as possible, because Ekström was already very close. When I drove into the corner I was hit at my left rear fender and went off into the gravel."

Stefan Mücke, Mücke Motorsport, ended up eighth. Bruno Spengler, Mercedes Second Hand Cars, retired on the final lap from sixth place due to a damaged left rear suspension which had probably been caused by a coming together.

Alexandros Margaritis, Mücke Motorsport AMG-Mercedes, had an incident with his team mate Stefan Mücke at the first corner and retired on lap 20, because the right front tyre dragged along the fender. It was not possible to repair the damage.

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:

"Congratulations to Gary, Mika and the entire team on a great job. Gary drove a faultless race and won without any problems. Mika performed really well with his first podium and the fastest lap. The problem with the hydraulic jacks during his first pit stop prevented him from finishing second. It's a shame for Jean who lost a better position due to a stuck wheel nut during his second pit stop."

"When Ekström crashed into Jamie's car we missed the chance for a better team result. The next race at Spa will be difficult because we have to start with 20 kilograms additional weight after winning two races. This will be a big disadvantage there and will cost us about half a second per lap. But our team will fight."


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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Jean Alesi , Mika Hakkinen , Tom Kristensen , Bernd Schneider , Norbert Haug , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Alexandros Margaritis , Stefan Mücke , Jamie Green
Teams Mücke Motorsport