It took a while, but it looks like the Mercedes-Benz team is coming along nicely in the 2013 DTM season. Gary Paffett, last year’s runner-up, took home the win at Lausitzring and boosted Mercedes-Benz up in the standings.
“I had a great car,” said Paffett. “This was a perfect race.”
The win was coupled with a podium finish for Mercedes-Benz junior team member Christian Vietoris, who got his first career pole position in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. It took 26 races for Vietoris to claim a pole position, and this is the first time a junior team member achieved the feat since Mercedes-Benz initiated it this past year.
The podium is rounded out by Audi driver Mike Rockenfeller.
Robert Wickens, who qualified in P4, also finished fourth. Daniel Juncadella also got some attention for his amazing effort in the race. He vaulted from P13 on the starting grid and finished in P6 after 52 laps.
Here’s a tweet from Juncadella:
— Daniel Juncadella (@dani_juncadella) June 17, 2013
Roberto Merhi took the last championship point after finishing 10th. Pascal Wehrlein was the only Mercedes-Benz DTM driver to not finish in the points.
Overall, it was a good showing for the Mercedes team, which had been struggling to get good finishes because of terrible qualifying performance. With Paffett and Vietoris securing a Mercedes front row, the drivers were able to concentrate on their own pace instead of having to worry about leapfrogging people in front.
With the win, Paffett moves up to third in the drivers’ championship with 47 points, behind Rockenfeller and BMW’s Bruno Spengler, who each have 59. Vietoris is right behind Paffett, trailing by 7 points.
Mercedes-Benz (126 points) moves ahead of Audi (101) in the constructors’ title race thanks to 61 total points achieved at Lausitzring. BMW is still in the lead with 177 points, but only had 6 in this race.