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Moscow - Mercedes-AMG driver Pascal Wehrlein (gooix Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) has won the first race at the Moscow Raceway. This is the first victory for the brand with the three-pointed star since the DTM debuted at the Russian track in 2013.
In an exciting race which was interrupted by two safety car deployments, Wehrlein took the lead at the head of the field with just four minutes to go by overtaking BMW driver Marco Wittmann. This was Wehrlein's second victory of the season. After the eleventh of 18 races this season, Wehrlein now heads the DTM drivers' standings with an eight-point lead on Mattias Ekström (Audi, 111 points).
Apart from Wehrlein, fellow Mercedes-AMG drivers Daniel Juncadella (PETRONAS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) placed fifth and seventh respectively and also finished in the points. Mercedes-Benz on 379 points now head the DTM manufacturers' standings after the eleventh round of the season and are 19 points up on Audi. gooix/Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG head the team rankings with a lead of 37 points.
Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM), Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) and Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) booked positions 12, 13 and 14 respectively. Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished the race in P16. During the race, Paffett gained 13 positions and Wickens moved up ten places.
The race ended for Christian Vietoris (Original-Teile Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) with a collision just after the start. Vietoris was unable to avoid the car of Miguel Molina (Audi), who spun immediately following the start.
Looking ahead to race 2: The second race at the Moscow Raceway will get under way on Sunday at 15:10 CET (live on ARD TV from 15:00 CET onwards). Qualifying for Race 2 begins at 12:25 CET (live stream available at: www.sportschau.de/dtm). The DTM Race Hub at www.mercedes.me/racehubdtm features fan radio, live timing data and live commentaries for all practice sessions, qualifying and for the races themselves.
Comments after the Race
Pascal Wehrlein (20, Germany):
"That was a great race and the right reply to Spielberg. My car was just brilliant today, for which I have my team to thank. I realised at the start that we had a strong car. I knew that the tyre degradation on the BMWs is usually slightly higher, so I had to be patient for a little while before mounting a well-planned overtaking manoeuvre. It was, though, a bit of a surprise attack that succeeded. Marco defended with everything he had but raced very fairly. This is exactly how a scrap should be. I'm absolutely delighted with the race."
Daniel Juncadella (24, Spain):
"Overall, I'm happy with the race, but I wanted a little bit more. When you're so close to achieving a podium, you would obviously prefer to end up there. Sadly, I didn't succeed, but we'll try again in the second race tomorrow. My start and the first two laps were good. My pace was also very good. However overtaking is tricky here. All in all, though, it was okay."
Gary Paffett (34, England):
"Great race. Really good fun. I avoided the accident in Turn 1, and then the car was really strong. I caught up with the other drivers, overtook, and got into the points. I didn't think that it was going to be that good after starting from P20. P7 means points, so it was a good race."
Robert Wickens (26, Canada):
"That was an average race. From 22nd place on the grid you never really know what the outcome will be. Luckily, I kept myself out of trouble and didn't have any contacts or damage to the car and so finished twelfth. But, for some reason, I was slow on the straights. We need to get to the bottom of it, because this track is so technical that you need the straights to overtake. Bearing that in mind, we'll have to get it sorted for tomorrow."
Lucas Auer (20, Austria):
"The team performed really well today. Congratulations to Pascal and to the team. My setup was also perfect, and I drove a good race. Now we'll have to make sure that we secure even better results tomorrow."
Paul Di Resta (29, Scotland):
"That was a very disappointing result, especially since we had such a strong car. I was hit first by Mortara and then by Rockenfeller. I fought hard to make my way back up the field after I was spun in the second turn. Unfortunately, there was no longer any chance for me to score points, though, because of the two safety car periods. Now I have to concentrate on tomorrow. I'm sure we can have a good race."
Maximilian Götz (29, Germany):
"My start was quite good. I held my position and then gained two places as a result of the accident at the start. That's obviously not the way one would normally like to gain position. Unfortunately, I then dropped down the field a few places on the restart, because I made a small mistake. I then tried to make a move next to Augusto Farfus on the last lap. I was almost past him, but he closed the door on the final turn, so I had to drive over the grass. Nevertheless, I gave it my all. The pace and the car were good, only the placing was not quite what I had in mind."
Christian Vietoris (26, Germany):
"Unfortunately, that was a short race for me. Miguel Molina spun in Turn 1 in front of me, and I had no time to react or to see anything. Because of that, I hit him full on and I've slightly injured my knee. However, I think that I'll still be able to race again tomorrow. My car is really badly damaged, but I hope that my team will get it fixed for tomorrow. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed."
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM:
"That was an action-packed race with a deserving winner. Pascal drove a great race, but Daniel Juncadella, and especially Gary Paffett, also did really well. I'm just full of admiration for Gary, who started from P20 on the grid and then moved up to P7 in this short race. Now we have to ensure that we can repeat this performance again tomorrow. At the same time, we'll have to wait and see how badly Christian Vietoris's car is damaged. Unfortunately, there's not much to report on that score at the moment. The most important thing is that he's OK."
Source: Daimler AG