DTM Qualifying: Round 8, Oschersleben.
Gary Paffett set to compete in his 100th DTM race at Oschersleben.
Robert Wickens in 11th position on grid.
Conditions were variable and very tricky for the eighth qualifying session of the DTM season on Saturday afternoon at Oschersleben. Gary Paffett secured the seventh fastest time of 1:20.333 minutes in the third qualifying session. However, Paffett will start his 100th DTM race on Sunday from twelfth position on the grid after being handed a five-place grid penalty. On Saturday morning during practice, Paffett and fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Daniel Juncadella had run tyres that were not designated for use on their vehicles. Race stewards subsequently issued a grid penalty to the pair of them for this infringement of the rules.
Robert Wickens, winner of the previous race in the wet at the Nürburgring, qualified in twelfth position on the grid with a lap time of 1:21.185 minutes but moves up one place to P11 as a result of Paffet's grid penalty. “It was very difficult to pick the right moment to go out on track with all the rain”, said Robert. “Unfortunately, things only went well for us in Q1. We waited too long to go out in Q2. It was already raining a bit on the Outlap. On the first timed lap, the rain was even heavier, and the track was so wet on the second hot lap that a decent time was no longer possible. We didn't expect that I would not go through to Q3. It's altogether a great pity because I think we have a good car, good enough even to progress to Q4 and on to pole position with a little bit of luck.”
Mercedes-Pascal Junior Wehrlein (1:21.351 minutes) secured grid position 14 for the race at Oschersleben. Conditions were tough and drizzle was falling, as Daniel Juncadella (1:21.258 minutes), Christian Vietoris (1:21.400 minutes) and Roberto Merhi (1:21.517 minutes) came home in positions 20, 21 respectively 22 during qualifying. Just like Paffett, Juncadella was handed a five-place grid penalty by race stewards, and so, the Spanish driver will be in grid position 22 for the race.
Our team will do everything in the race.
“We did not think that qualifying would turn out like this”, said Wolfgang Schattling, Head of DTM Management. “As a result of Gary's five-place grid penalty, we don't have a single car in the Top Ten, which is very disappointing, of course. Today's variable conditions were quite tough and meant that it was vital to be out on track at the right time. Obviously, we did not consistently manage to do that. However, we will not allow that to unsettle us. Our team will do everything in the race to secure a respectable result. We have experienced unexpected results often enough this season, but our young squad has shown repeatedly this year that they can do brilliant things and perform well in the race.”