QUALIFYING 1: VIETORIS aND PAFFETT on the front row
Christian Vietoris will be starting from pole position in the first of two DTM races at Norisring. In qualifying on a drying track, the Mercedes-Benz driver posted the fastest lap time of 50.640 seconds and thus was 0.039 seconds faster than his fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Gary Paffett. In third position, Jamie Green was the best-placed Audi driver. Behind two further Mercedes drivers, Paul Di Resta and Pascal Wehrlein, Brazilian Augusto Farfus ended up as the best-placed BMW driver in sixth position.
In the 20 minutes’ qualifying session, lap times continuously improved. As rain tyres were still required on the rain-soaked track in the early stages, the racing line quickly dried out and the fastest times were eventually set with slick tyres. For Vietoris, it is the second pole position of his DTM career. Since 2011, he has been competing for Mercedes-Benz in the most popular international touring car series.
Christian Vietoris, Mercedes-Benz, 1st place: “Being on pole at Norisring simply is a great feeling. It has been a long time since I last was on pole. Conditions like these simply suit me. I like it when the track slowly dries out. It is getting faster lap after lap and one has to search for new braking points. I really like that and it went very well. Moreover, finding a clear lap on the track was very difficult. My team coached me really well. Now, we have to wait and see what the weather will be doing. Having two Mercedes on the front row certainly is an advantage, much more so than having an Audi alongside me. When we leave each other some room, I think it looks pretty good for us.”
Gary Paffett, Mercedes-Benz, 2nd place: “Being back on the front row absolutely is a great feeling. In a qualifying like this, you always have to be flat-out and push, but still, you can’t make any mistakes. After my last lap, I still was on pole position, but then, Christian came and took it away from me. Nevertheless, I am really, really happy with my second place. Of course, starting from the front row certainly improves our chances in the race.”
Jamie Green, Audi, 3rd place: “With the extra ballast in the car, it isn’t easy. Qualifying really was a stressful affair. Conditions were anything but easy. Therefore, I am really happy with my grid position. At the moment, things are just running well for us. I have a great team, a strong car and, I have talent and I am always doing my utmost. When everything comes together, you are successful.”
Paul Di Resta, Mercedes-Benz, 4th place: “Of course, I am happy with the result. I haven’t been any better in qualifying so far this season. However, my penultimate lap was my best one. On this one, I locked up my tyres under braking for the final corner. Hadn’t it been for this mistake, the time would probably even have been enough for pole. All in all, however, we can be very happy. Yesterday, we already were strong in the dry, today, we also coped well with the difficult conditions. Now, I am curious about the race. It will be long and tough. Let’s wait and see what comes out.”