First DTM podium for
Mercedes Junior Roberto Merhi.
Roberto Merhi secures second place at DTM finale in Hockenheim.
First podium finish.
Mercedes Junior Roberto Merhi placed second at the Hockenheim DTM finale in tricky weather conditions. For the young Spaniard, now approaching the end of his second DTM season, this was his first podium finish in the world's most popular touring car series. Despite a drive-through penalty for jumping the green light at the start, Merhi improved during the race from grid position 21 to P2. The race was won by ex-Formula 1 driver Timo Glock. Five of the six Mercedes-Benz drivers have each achieved at least one podium finish this season. Daniel Juncadella in fourth place missed a podium by a whisker in Nuremberg. Four Mercedes-Benz drivers in total came home in the Top 10. Christian Vietoris placed seventh in the last race of the season at Hockenheim. Vietoris also posted in 1:46.908 minutes the fastest lap of the race.
Gary Paffett and Daniel Juncadella, who were ninth and tenth, also finished in the points. Fellow Mercedes-Benz drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Robert Wickens came home in P17 and P18 respectively.
122,000 spectators came through the gates to watch this weekend's DTM finale at Hockenheim. MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was among the many prominent guests who had come along to mark the close of the season. The Silver Arrow driver stopped by to say hello to his Mercedes-Benz DTM colleagues and took a seat in the cockpit of a Mercedes-Benz DTM racing taxi. “I always fancied driving a DTM car and am delighted that Mercedes-Benz has made that possible today,” said Hamilton. “The car has a lot of power, and driving it on a wet track has been most enjoyable.”
Roberto Merhi, Second place: "I would like to dedicate this second-place finish to the late Maria de Villota, whom I knew very well, and also to Sean Edwards who so tragically lost his life last week. My race didn't get off to a good start: the car rolled forward off the line and I got a drive-through penalty. But after that, I just went flat out. Also, our strategy worked well. I had an exciting battle with Timo Glock for the race win. After my first mandatory pit stop, I was a bit slower than Timo, but after the second, we were both very fast. When I woke up this morning and saw that it was raining, I had to smile, because I knew that, even from 21st on the grid, I was capable of getting a good result, and that's precisely what happened. Now I'm looking forward to next year and - hopefully - to more podiums."
Christian Vietoris, Seventh place: “That was a really cool race and the car had colossal speed. To finish in seventh place after starting from 20th on the grid seems to me more than OK, and with the right strategy, I think we might have done even better. But I gave it all I'd got, and I'm feeling well pleased with myself and with the season as a whole.”
“My team was absolutely fantastic and they have done a great job throughout the campaign. I think we can feel confident about building on this performance next year.”
We will work hard over the winter to return even stronger next year.
Gary Paffett, Ninth place: “We moved up from 16th to ninth place and finished in the points. But Roberto proved that even more might have been possible this Sunday. It was extremely difficult to find the right tyre pressure today. The pressure was probably too low after the first change of tyres, so I had hardly any grip for ten laps and lost position as a result. The last set of tyres then degraded too soon, so we didn't manage to get everything perfect, but all in all, it was a great race and not a bad end to the season. We will work hard over the winter to return even stronger next year.”
Robert Juncadella, Tenth place: “Today's race was a big disappointment for me. I was in a position to claim my first ever DTM race win, but then I totally misjudged the situation going into the hairpin and spun Mattias Ekström around. Obviously, it was my fault and I feel very sorry for Mattias. The upside of today's race is that I showed myself capable of competing with the DTM front-runners under exceptionally difficult conditions. And of course, that makes me optimistic about next season.”
I gained a lot of valuable experience and am sure that I'll do better next year.
Pascal Wehrlein, 17th place: “I was initially very fast and overtook a number of cars. We came in quite early for the first tyre change but then lost speed on the second set of tyre. Unfortunately, the decision to attempt to stay out on the options did not result in the pace that we'd hoped for, and so, we were unable to do better than 17th. All in all, I 'm happy with my first DTM season. I gained a lot of valuable experience and am sure that I'll do better next year.”
Finishing in the top 5 is something that I can be really proud of.
Robert Wickens, 18th place: “Today's race was really tough for me. The speed was definitely there, but my car was damaged in some hard-fought scraps, making it tricky to attack. Then when I got a time penalty, my race was over. But all in all, I've had a great season. Of course, the win at the Nürburgring was the best moment of the year for me. Finishing in the top 5 in my second season in such a highly competitive series like the DTM is something that I can be really proud of. I will go on the offensive again next year and, hopefully, be in contention for the title.”
“Congratulations to Timo Glock and to BMW on this victory”, said Toto wolff. “We can also take several positives from our home race at Hockenheim. Roberto started from the last row on the grid and, despite a drive-through penalty, finished second. Considering where we were at the start of today's race, we certainly could not have hoped for such a result. It's a pity that Daniel collided with Mattias Ekström at the hairpin. If it hadn't been for the subsequent drive-through penalty, Daniel could have finished even higher. All in all, I think we can feel very satisfied with our result from this race. Now we need to reproduce this sort of form in the dry. We'll be working hard on this aspect during the winter months.”