“Unfinished business” – Wehrlein looks forward to Spielberg
In both rounds of the DTM meeting at Zandvoort, Pascal Wehrlein proved to be the best representative of the Mercedes camp – but the young gun racing for the Stuttgart based brand was anything but happy with having finished tenth and sixth. Please read below what made his life difficult in the Netherlands and why he still has got unfinished business with the Red Bull Ring.
A glance at the time sheets following the first race of the Zandvoort meeting underlined how close the racing in DTM currently is. At the end of the 25-lap race, the gap between race winner Marco Wittmann and Pascal Wehrlein in 10th position added up to just 10n seconds. “My pace was quite alright and therefore, I am rather happy with my race performance – but not so with the result,” Wehrlein said after the race.
The key problem of the German: the start. “This was another poor start, today, but we are working hard on solving this problem. But I’m not the only one who has to cope with it. We haven’t got enough sensitivity for the clutch and therefore, we are trying to definitely change something for the next race meeting.” At circuits such as Zandvoort, where overtaking is difficult, this situation costs the Stuttgarters many chances. “Our goal mustn’t be to not lose positions at the start but we want to be able to possibly gain positions at the start,” Wehrlein adds. “But I think that I failed to do so in every single race of the 2015 season so far.”
In the second round of the weekend, on Sunday, the 19-year old succeeded in finishing sixth but had fight really hard for securing this result. “It was a good race – up to the point in time when I collided with Molina and damaged my car. Afterwards, my steering was bent and my aero components at the front were broken. Two corners later I already was aware that something was not alright anymore. The balance had changed a lot and you had to opt for completely different styles of driving for right-handers and left-handers.”
A short time later, the next evil was approaching from behind. “Ekström was right behind me but I always tried to find the perfect exit in the last corners on the way to the home straight to not offer him the chance of passing me by dint of the DRS. And fortunately I succeeded in doing so,” beamed the two-time DTM race winner. Meanwhile, the two rivals did not only battle it out on the track but also are tied for points in the championship, with Wehrlein holding second position. Nonetheless, the young gun isn’t ready to feel too confident: “With a five-point gap to the leader we are in a good position but we definitely want more. On the other hand, predicting anything in DTM is just impossible. Should BMW experience another great race weekend such as the one at Zandvoort they all of a sudden will be fully back in the battle for the title.”
But that’s something Wehrlein wants to possibly prevent, in the DTM doubleheader at Austria’s Red Bull Ring. “I still have got unfinished business with Spielberg,” he reveals. “Last year I held fourth or fifth position and was one of the front-runners who battled it out for the lead. But then I had an unsafe release and my race was destroyed. And that’s something I want to compensate for, this year.” According to him, the chances of doing so look bright: “I like the circuit and think that it also suits our car. On the other hand, we were of the same opinion prior to the Lausitzring weekend. Therefore, I rather won’t make any predictions… But we definitely will give our very best to be able to battle it out at the front end of the grid.”