While the team was not able to claim a win in the season-opening race at Hockenheim, Christian Vietoris and Gary Paffett ensured that the team would be off to a strong start. Vietories claimed his first DTM podium finish after coming in third behind race winner Augusto Farfus and second-placer Dirk Werner, while Gary Paffett crossed the finish line around three seconds later for fourth place.
Vietoris, a member of the Junior Team currently competing for Mercedes-Benz in the 2013 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, was 9.675 seconds behind Farfus, who clocked 1:10:11.583.
Vietoris had to overtake Paffett in the final several laps of the race using DRS to secure his first podium, while Paffett had to stave off defending champion Bruno Spengler to hold on to the fourth spot.
“That race was huge fun,” said Vietoris, crediting changes like having DRS and option tires as something that allows for more action on the track. “I lost some ground early on, but thanks to our excellent pit stops and a faultless drive, I was able to claw my way back and finish on the podium for the first time in my career.”
Paffett, last year’s runner-up, liked the P4 finish, but believed he could have achieved a better result.
Roberto Merhi finished in tenth place, followed by Mercedes-Benz teammates Pascal Wehrlein and Daniel Juncadella in 11th and 12th, respectively.
Robert Wickens was the sole retirement for the Mercedes-Benz team.