Mercedes-AMG dominated the third leg of the 2015 DTM season after sweeping both round 5 and 6 at the Norisring in Germany. 20-year old Pascal Wehrlein claimed victory in Race 1 on Saturday ahead of three other Mercedes-AMG drivers namely Robert Wickens, Gary Paffett and Christian Vietoris. Wickens took the win in Race 2 on Sunday leading Vietoris and pole starter Bruno Spengler who gave BMW the first podium win of the year.
The race results are still provisional after the stewards found Tom Blomqvist’s BMW M4 DTM on the wrong side of technical regulations. BMW stated, “We have been informed about the decision by the stewards of the meeting. In the car of Tom Blomqvist (starting number 31), a construction intended to cool the driver was installed on Sunday. It is our view that the car complies with the current technical regulations and therefore, we will lodge an appeal against this decision.”
Young Wehrlein benefited greatly from his choice of tires in the first 20 laps during Race 1. His team opted for slicks on a wet track that was just recovering from heavy downpour – a tricky option that proved to be correct for the team. Other drivers chose wet tires but had to pit after realizing the track was drying lap by lap. Wehrlein took the lead after the first batch of cars drove into the pits and pulled away from the pack all the way to finish.
Speaking about his victory, Wehrlein said: “My race particularly took place in the first 20 laps. It was my engineer, and not me who made the call. Keeping the car on track with slick tyres was extremely difficult. It was exciting and demanding at the same time. My goal is to be in front after the pit stops. Fortunately, that worked out. Then, I only had to bring victory home”
Wickens, Paffett and Vietoris were battling for second place in an all Mercedes battle after Wehrlein pulled away from them. Wickens managed to snatch second place from Vietoris, shortly afterwards Paffett passed Vietoris and the order remained unchanged all the way till chequered flag. Spengler finished fifth for BMW leading another BMW of Martin Tomczyk.
Championship leader Jamie Green was sixth after colliding with the Mercedes of Paul Di Resta who had to retire after that incident. After his win, Wehrlein moved up the standings to fourth with 57 points behind Mattias Ekström and Edoardo Mortara both with 58 points.
Race 2 went down on Sunday giving Mercedes-AMG another chance to shine at home. This time it was Wickens who claimed victory leading another Mercedes of Vietoris who missed the podium narrowly on Saturday. BMW had all the reasons to smile after scoring their first podium win of the season courtesy of Bruno Spengler who flashed across the finish line in third.
The first few laps of the race were actioned packed with two Mercedes cars trailing Spengler’s BMW who had started from pole. The Canadian driver was not given any breathing space but he gave all he had to defend his position from the draconian attack by the pack behind him. A total of 123,000 fans gathered at the Norisring circuit to witness this action in a round that ended Audi’s domination in the series.
Wickens was the first to overtake Spengler, he was joined by Vietoris, Auer and Ekström leaving Spengler in fifth. The Canadian spend the remaining laps of the race fighting for third with Ekstrom and eventually his effort paid off. Jamie Green finished out of the top ten but still leads the championship with 81 points, Wehrlein moved up to third after garnering 67 points.
The next leg will head over to The Netherlands at the Zandvoort Circuit on July 10.