The Mercedes-Benz driver ended up 0.057 seconds ahead of Audi driver Mattias Ekström
Klettwitz – The ‘young guns’ are firmly in control of the DTM: while 19-year-old Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz) celebrated his maiden race win at the Lausitzring, BMW driver Marco Wittmann crowned himself with an early title win in the most popular international touring car series. “This is sensational, simply unbelievable. It was a difficult race, I had to keep myself out of all the battles.
In the end, that was the key to winning the title. I first have to deal with all the emotions,” a visibly moved Wittmann commented. For the 24-year-old, sixth place in the race with his BMW M4 DTM was enough for an early decision in the battle for the title after eight of ten season rounds. In total, 58,000 fans attended the race weekend in the Lausitz region.
A great success for me and for the team.
At the start of the race, Wehrlein converted his first-ever DTM pole position into the race lead. The 19-year-old German went on to continuously extend his lead. The youngster had a heart-stopping moment on lap 16 when he slid off the track while in the lead. However, Wehrlein remained unfazed and drove victory home. “A great success for me and for the team. Today, our strategy was exactly spot-on. Thanks to the entire team that enabled me to score this win,” the Mercedes-Benz driver enthused.
Timo Scheider had a big relief. The Audi driver had a long drought and scored his first DTM podium result after almost one year at the Lausitzring. “This makes me feel incredibly well. Throughout the season, we have been working very hard, but unfortunately, we didn’t get the success. Scoring this podium finish at Lausitz is beautiful. You can really feel how the fans enjoy motorsport here,” the stalwart said, relieved. On the final lap, the 2008 and 2009 champion almost had claimed second position from Christian Vietoris.
Mattias Ekström, who could have prevented Wittmann from his early title win, had a race to forget. After a poor start, the Swede slid into the gravel trap on lap three and dropped back well down the order. On lap 27, the two times’ champion had to park his Audi RS 5 DTM altogether after a wheel had come off the car. “One shouldn’t blame my crew. Normally, they are doing a perfect job,” the 36-year-old said.
The battle for runner-up position in the most popular international touring car series remains exciting. Christian Vietoris (DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) has good chances. After his second place at Lausitz, the German moves up from sixth to second in the drivers’ standings. After eight of ten rounds, the Mercedes-Benz driver has 59 points to his tally. Audi drivers Mattias Ekström (56), Edoardo Mortara (56) and Mike Rockenfeller (54) are following closely.
The next DTM race weekend will take place at Circuit Park Zandvoort on the Dutch North Sea coast from September 27 till 28. In the past years, the dune circuit north of Amsterdam was often good for entertaining motorsport.
Wolfgang Schattling, head of DTM management, Mercedes-Benz: “First of all, I have to extend my congratulations to BMW and Marco Wittmann. But we are on cloud number nine, too. We never expected to score a 1-2 here at the Lausitzring. I also have to praise Pascal Wehrlein. Thanks to his success today, he is now the youngest race winner in DTM history.”
Dieter Gass, head of DTM, Audi: “Today, we didn’t get the maximum result out of our good starting grid positions. Especially as far as the manufacturers’ championship is concerned, we didn’t achieve enough. We will have to analyse our performance in the rain, because we were lacking consistency in that stage of the race.”
Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport Director: “I am super happy. The fact that Marco already was so consistent and fast in his second year is a great success. One shouldn’t forget that we have a new car this year. Everybody together has done a tremendous job. But there are still two titles at stake, so we will continue to push.”
The race at a glance
|Start||Wehrlein remains up front from Juncadella, Green. Ekström drops back to fourth.|
|Lap 1||Wehrlein pulls clear, Green attacks Juncadella for second, Vietoris is fourth. Tomczyk spins after contact with Spengler.|
|Lap 2||Vietoris moves up into second place past Green and Juncadella. Wittmann is seventh. Collision between Tomczyk and Spengler is under investigation.|
|Lap 3||Sixth-placed Ekström off the track in the infield section, ploughs through the gravel trap.|
|Lap 4||Ekström has dropped back to 15th. Spengler gets a drive-through for pushing another car. Green spins, but continues. He drops back to sixth. Spengler comes in for his penalty.|
|Lap 5||Wehrlein is leading with a 5.989 seconds' margin from Vietoris, then Juncadella, Scheider, Wittmann, Green, Glock, Rockenfeller, Martin and Wickens.|
|Lap 6||Green overtakes Wittmann under braking for the first corner. Paffett spins, but continues.|
|Lap 7||Félix da Costa spins off the track into the gravel trap in turn 5 and retires. An incident between Müller and Paffett is under investigation. Spengler into the pits.|
|Lap 8||Incident between Tambay and Félix da Costa under investigation.|
|Lap 9||Rockenfeller and Glock tangle, Wickens gets past as well. Rockenfeller attacks Wittmann for sixth.|
|Lap 10||Under braking for the first corner, Wickens overtakes Wittmann and is now seventh. Then, Wickens also overtakes Rockenfeller for sixth.|
|Lap 11||Wehrlein is 11.6 seconds clear of Vietoris.|
|Lap 13||Green into the gravel trap, he drops back to eleventh place.|
|Lap 14||Wickens gets a warning for pushing another car following an incident with Rockenfeller. Müller turns into the pits and retires.|
|Lap 15||Pascal Wehrlein is leading from Vietoris, Juncadella, Scheider, Wickens, Rockenfeller, Wittmann, Farfus, Di Resta and Glock. Ekström and Glock tangle, Ekström gets past and so does Molina.|
|Lap 16||Wehrlein goes straight in the infield, but continues. He loses two seconds.|
|Lap 17||Martin, Juncadella, Tambay, Petrov and Wickens under investigation for possible yellow flag infringements.|
|Lap 19||Ekström overtakes Green under braking for the first corner. Martin, Juncadella, Tambay, Petrov and Wickens get drive through penalties for yellow flag infringements. Tambay, Glock, Petrov and Martin into the pits. Glock retires.|
|Lap 20||Wickens into the pits for his penalty.|
|Lap 21||Juncadella into the pits for his penalty. Spengler into the pits for a tyre change.|
|Lap 22||Incident between Rockenfeller and Glock under investigation.|
|Lap 23||Warning for Rockenfeller because of pushing another car.|
|Lap 24||Incident between Green and Tomczyk under investigation.|
|Lap 25||Di Resta overtakes Wittmann for sixth. Mortara into the pits for a tyre change.|
|Lap 26||Farfus, Ekström, Green, Paffett, Martin into the pits.|
|Lap 27||Ekström loses the front left wheel of his car, he retires. Scheider, Juncadella, Wickens, Di Resta, Wittmann, Rockenfeller, Molina, Hand, Tomczyk, Petrov into the pits.|
|Lap 28||Wehrlein into the pits. Green gets a drive through penalty for pushing another car. Ekström will be reported to the stewards for an unsafe release after his pit stop.|
|Lap 29||Vietoris into the pits.|
|Lap 30||Green into the pits for his penalty.|
|Lap 31||Wehrlein is leading from Vietoris, Scheider, Juncadella, Wickens, Di Resta, Farfus, Wittmann, Rockenfeller and Molina.|
|Lap 32||Petrov spins, but continues.|
|Lap 35||DRS is enabled.|
|Lap 37||Wittmann is leading Vietoris by 10.7 seconds.|
|Lap 38||Di Resta runs wide, Wittmann gets past. Di Resta comes into the pits at the end of the lap and retires.|
|Lap 40||Rockenfeller attacks Farfus for seventh.|
|Lap 41||Tambay into the pits - retires.|
|Lap 42||Hand spins after contact with Rockenfeller.|
|Lap 44||Incident between Hand and Rockenfeller under investigation.|
|Lap 44||Martin spins into the gravel trap, but continues. Hand gets a warning for pushing another car.|
|Lap 46||Spengler into the pits.|
|Lap 48||Green into the pits - retires.|
|Lap 51||Scheider puts Vietoris under pressure for second place.|
|Lap 52||Final lap. Wehrlein wins from Vietoris, Scheider, Juncadella, Wickens, Wittmann, Farfus, Tomczyk, Molina and Rockenfeller. Marco Wittmann is the 2014 DTM champion.|