Mugello: Mercedes race report

Mika Hakkinen wins from 15th on the grid Second win of the year for the Finn, the fourth in a row for the new C-Class Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars of all three generations among the top-five. Mika Hakkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007) won the...

Mika Hakkinen wins from 15th on the grid
Second win of the year for the Finn, the fourth in a row for the new C-Class Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars of all three generations among the top-five.

Mika Hakkinen (AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007) won the sixth round of the 2007 DTM in Mugello after starting 15th on the grid. In ambient temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius, Mika took his second victory of the season and the fourth in a row for the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. For the last 18 out of 33 laps he held off charging Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom, who eventually finished second 0.371sec behind. Mika is the only driver with two victories in the 2007 DTM so far.

Four Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars of all three generations used ended up among the top-five: Paul di Resta (2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class) came home third ahead of Bruno Spengler (2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Daniel la Rosa (2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class).

Susie Stoddart (2005 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class) finished 10th ahead of Bernd Schneider (2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class), who had a damaged car due to a collision without own fault right after the start. Mathias Lauda (2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class), Gary Paffett (2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class), Alexandros Margaritis (2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Jamie Green (Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class 2007) retired.

After six out of 10 races, Ekstrom took the overall lead with 32 points ahead of Bernd Schneider (25.5 points), Bruno Spengler, Paul di Resta (both with 22 points each) as well as Mika Hakkinen and Martin Tomczyk (both with 20 points each).

A crowd of more than 14,000 attended the 2007 DTM season's sixth race in Tuscany during the weekend.

The start: Bruno Spengler, who had qualified sixth, was pushed to the outside of the track by Timo Scheider (Audi); however, he fought back and improved to fourth position followed by Jamie Green. Bernd Schneider was eighth after the opening lap and Mika Hakkinen 14th. Alexandros Margaritis (stern AMG Mercedes C-Class) went through the gravel at the first corner, but managed to resume.

Lap 4: Jamie Green had an off and got stuck in the gravel. Schneider was now seventh ahead of Paul di Resta (AMG Mercedes C-Class).

Lap 6: Bernd Schneider, Paul di Resta and Daniel la Rosa made their first refuelling stopps. One lap later, Bruno Spengler, Mika Hakkinen and Gary Paffett (Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class) pitted for the first time.

Lap 8: First pit stops of Alexandros Margaritis, Mathias Lauda (Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class) and Susie Stoddart (TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class).

Lap 11: Paul di Resta overtook Bernd Schneider and improved to sixth.

Lap 12: All drivers had completed their respective first pit stops; Bruno Spengler was now third.

Lap 13: Another off of Alexandros Margaritis; the Greek-German hit the tyre barrier and retired. Mika Hakkinen pitted for the second time, just before the Safety Car was deployed on lap 14.

Lap 15: All other drivers made their respective second stops during the Safety Car period. Mika Hakkinen took the lead. Paul di Resta was third ahead of Bruno Spengler; Daniel la Rosa was sixth.

Lap 16: Restart. Gary Paffett was hit by Martin Tomczyk who spun and retired due to a damaged car.

Lap 23: Ten laps to go -- Mika Hakkinen was in front ahead of Mattias Ekstrom, Paul di Resta, Bruno Spengler and Daniel la Rosa.

Lap 27: Mathias Lauda retired due to a broken front right suspension.

Finish (lap 33): Mika Hakkinen held off charging Mattias Ekstrom until the chequered flag and took his second victory of the season. Paul di Resta came home third, his third podium finish in the sixth DTM race of his career.

Mika Hakkinen, 2007 AMG Mercedes C-Class, winner: "An incredible weekend. I cannot remember ever winning a race from 15th position on the grid. I thank my team for a perfect car and an optimum pit stop strategy which helped me to move up. I am not only happy for myself but also for Mercedes-Benz and the entire team."

Paul di Resta, 2005 JAWA4U.de AMG Mercedes C-Class, third: "After the poor basis with 12th place in qualifying, this is a very good result. We saw already in this morning's warm-up that we were able to improve. I am really satisfied, particularly, because the championship is still wide open."

Bruno Spengler, 2007 DaimlerChrysler Bank AMG Mercedes C-Class, fourth: "I am quite happy with my fourth place. A podium finish was possible today; however, after the safety car period I was just too far behind the front runners. In the end I conserved my tyres and did not take chances -- the five points I scored are important for the championship."

Daniel la Rosa, 2006 TrekStor AMG Mercedes C-Class, fifth: "I am very satisfied. My car improved throughout the race, the guys did a great job and our strategy was perfect. I thank everybody in our team."

Susie Stoddart, 2005 TV Spielfilm AMG Mercedes C-Class, 10th: "I am really happy to reach the top-ten the first time this year. Other than yesterday, everything worked out well for me today."

Bernd Schneider, 2007 Genuine Parts AMG Mercedes C-Class, 11th: "Right after the start I was hit hard by an Audi. I don't think it was by plan; however, as a consequence I suffered from severe understeer. Today a much better result than 11th would have been possible for me."

Mathias Lauda, 2006 Trilux AMG Mercedes C-Class, retired with a broken front right suspension: "In the opening stages I picked up dirt with my tyres and it took me four laps until I found good grip again. In the end, my front right suspension broke and that was it."

Gary Paffett, 2006 Laureus AMG Mercedes C-Class, accident without own fault: "The car ran very well and a points finish was possible today. However, I lost some time at the second pit stop during the safety car period, because it was not possible to serve all drivers at the same time, and I dropped to 11th. Afterwards I was hit by Martin Tomczyk who spun and damaged my car so badly that I had to retire."

Alexandros Margaritis, 2006 stern AMG Mercedes C-Class, accident: "Despite my short off at the first corner I had a good race. Unfortunately I once went too wide over the kerbs. Consequently, the car was hard to control and shortly afterwards I went off and hit the tyre barrier."

Jamie Green, 2007 Salzgitter AMG Mercedes C-Class, retired due to a broken suspension after hitting the kerbs: "I started well and had the impression, I could go faster than Bruno in front of me. Then I hit the kerbs too hard and when I touched the ground again, the front left suspension broke and I went off."

Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "Congratulation to Mika on his second win of the season within the four last races. Who would have imagined yesterday, that he would win from 15th on the grid. Mika did not have the faster car, but he kept it cool throughout. The timing for his second pit stop was perfect, before the safety car was deployed one lap later. At the Norisring he fell victim to the safety car period, here he benefited from it. The HWA team headed by Gerhard Ungar and Hans-Jurgen Matheis showed a great tactical performance. It's a shame for Bernd. A podium finish was possible for him, with which he would still be up front in the championship; however, on the first lap his car was hit and damaged by an opponent. Today we saw a great race and the promoter did a first-class job. Thanks to them for this, and also to track owner Ferrari which excellently supported this event and provided a Formula 1 car with Luca Badoer for demonstration runs for the spectators. Audi was faster than we today, what makes Mika's win even more valuable."

-credit: dcm/mercedes

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About this article
Series DTM
Drivers Luca Badoer , Mika Hakkinen , Martin Tomczyk , Bernd Schneider , Timo Scheider , Norbert Haug , Mattias Ekström , Bruno Spengler , Gary Paffett , Paul di Resta , Alexandros Margaritis , Mathias Lauda , Daniel la Rosa , Jamie Green , Gerhard Ungar