Robert Wickens and Lucas Auer both move seven places up the field in first race at Moscow Raceway
Moscow: The ninth round of the DTM season at the Moscow Raceway produced exciting charges up the field for Robert Wickens (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me) and Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) on Saturday. Wickens improved from grid position eleven to P4 during the race. He was even on course to take a podium for a time but had to concede defeat to Marco Wittmann (BMW) in the battle for P3.
His Mercedes-AMG Motorsport team-mate, Auer, also fought his way up the field, from 13th on the grid to sixth place. That puts the Austrian in second place with 95 points at the half-way stage in the season, just four points down on René Rast (Audi) in the lead.
Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM Mercedes me) secured six points for seventh place in a photo-finish with Mattias Ekström (Audi). The last point for P10 went to Maro Engel (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM). His Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM team-mate Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) crossed the finish line in P13 - one up on Edoardo Mortara (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM).
Looking ahead to race 2: The tenth round of the 2017 DTM season starts on Sunday at 13:48 CEST (live on ARD TV at 13:30 CEST). Third practice will take place before that at 08:40 CEST followed by the second qualifying at 10:30 CEST (live on One at 10:25 CEST). During each race weekend, we will provide live timing data, live commentary, fan voting and exclusive behind-the-scenes videos of the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team on our website at: www.mercedes-amg-motorsport.com/dtm.
Comments after the Race
Robert Wickens (28, Canada):
"If you had asked me after FP2 whether I would finish this race in the Top Five, I would have said that you had to be joking. This one is for the team. We struggled massively on Friday and then also this morning in FP2. It felt like there was an issue with the brakes, so we changed the entire brake system between FP2 and qualifying. We only had an hour to do it in. Really, hats off to them for actually getting the car ready for qualifying. I qualified in P11, which was better than expected, and then the race just went phenomenally. I came out of Lap 1 in P6, which is something I wouldn't have expected. After that, to be fighting for a podium was really a dream. Finishing in P4 today is a bit of a victory, I guess."
Lucas Auer (22, Austria):
"The day got off to a difficult start, but then what happened in the race itself was the exact opposite of what we had expected. I was very happy with the way it turned out, and the basis for the points was the first lap plus a clever strategy. My thanks to the team for that. So from this perspective, I'm feeling relatively happy after the race."
Gary Paffett (36, England):
"After lining up in P9, it was our aim to finish in the points. I got a good start but then had some contact with Green in Turn 1 and damaged the front of the car a bit. After the pit stop, I was just stuck in traffic the whole time. To be honest, a few cars overtook me while I was in the pits. P7 was all I could do. I had a pretty close battle with Eki towards the end but managed to stay in front. We got some points in the end, but I think we missed an opportunity today."
Maro Engel (31, Germany):
"Positive conclusion to a tough day. Nice, that I made it into the points from 18th on the grid. Many thanks to the guys. We had a good strategy and a good car, that's what made it possible. The key thing tomorrow will be to line up further up front."
Paul Di Resta (31, Scotland):
"For various reasons, that was far from an optimum race. We now have a lot to discuss. We'll then try and do something different tomorrow."
Edoardo Mortara (30, Italy):
"Saturday has been really bad for me. Unfortunately, I've got nothing positive to report. I hope we can fight with the others tomorrow."
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM:
"Compared with where we were after qualifying, we can certainly feel satisfied with this result. We just missed out on the podium with Rob, and with Lucas, Gary and Maro, we had three more drivers in the Top Ten. Lucas also held on to second place in the championship by finishing sixth. On a wider note, I think we've also seen exciting racing with some great wheel-to-wheel action. All in all, the day was not nearly as black as it had looked this morning."
Source: Daimler AG