N oh the Audi dominance in the last four Mercedes has now turned the tables in the DTM races. Pascal Wehrlein won the first race at the Norisring. The youngster also owed his triumph to a clever tactic.
In contrast to the other Mercedes drivers, he played poker with slicks at the front. Shortly before the start of the race, a thunderstorm hit the street circuit and resulted in a wet track. While he still struggled with slides in the first few meters, the strategy towards the middle of the race worked. Because the track gradually dried up.
Wehrlein celebrates second victory
For Wehrlein it is the second victory of his DTM career. 'The choice of tires was my engineer's decision,' said Wehrlein. 'I think both strategies have benefited. In the end, my tires deteriorated. It was difficult to keep the car on the track. In the beginning it was pretty exciting.'
Not just about winning Mercedes cheer, places two to four also went to the Star Warriors. Christian Vietoris had already set an exclamation mark in qualifying with the pole position, but in the race he had to admit defeat to his brand colleagues Robert Wickens and Gary Paffett and only finished fourth. Wickens, Paffett and Vietoris all had to come to the pits to change tires because they started on rain tires.
'Driving off with the slicks was too much risk,' said Wickens, who started from seventh place. 'We wanted to get points. Pascal was the only one who did it really well on the slick.' With the result, Mercedes once again demonstrated its dominance at the Norisring. Since 2003 they have been unbeaten in the home race of BMW and Audi.
Green remains championship leader
The best-placed car of the competition was Bruno Spengler's BMW in fifth, ahead of his brand colleague Martin Tomczyk six. Championship leader Jamie Green saw the checkered flag in his Audi in seventh place. Green continues to lead the table with three wins this season.
'I'm satisfied,' said Green. 'In the first corner it was hard with the dry tires. My start wasn't bad. But then I lost positions. I didn't want to risk any contact after that and wait until the track dries up. It's difficult with the heavy weight of success.' The top ten are completed by the two BMW drivers Augusto Farfus and the reigning champion Marco Wittmann as well as Mercedes driversDaniel Juncadella.
As usual at the Norisring, there was also a lot of paint replacement on the narrow circuit. Lucas Auer and Miguel Molina met right at the beginning. Their accident triggered a short safety car phase.