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Mercedes drivers vocal about driving standards

Photo: Daimler AG

The racing is tough, no matter the touring car series concerned, but some of the action that took place in yesterday’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters race at Circuit Park Zandvoort, had been noticed by several of the Mercedes-Benz drivers involved.

The first driver that finished in the top ten for the Stuttgart brand, Pascal Wehrlein, placed sixth after another action-packed affair amongst the Dutch dunes, alongside having clutch issues on his Mercedes c63 AMG DTM.

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Despite admitting that he had a poor start in race two, the 20-year-old said that after a very heated battle with Audi Sport’s Miguel Molina, he was “lucky to finish the race in that state.”

“My pace was good until the scrap with Molina. The car was so badly damaged that I had to defend my position strongly at the end,” stated the 20-year-old. “I was afraid I was going to get a puncture. My steering was totally out, and I was missing several aerodynamic components.”

Norisring race two winner, Canadian Robert Wickens, was far from happy, having classed Sunday’s race as “terrible,” having said that he was hit by three different Audi drivers during the 60-minute race. This saw the Guelph native end up 19th, and in not the greatest of moods either: “In my opinion, that simply shouldn’t happen. It really was a weekend to forget. Many thanks to the team for their hard work this weekend.”

Daniel Juncadella was the only retirement from Mercedes, as he was also in the wars with Edoardo Mortara during part of the race. However, the Spaniard was admitted to hospital following the pair’s altercation.

“A disappointing end to the race. I fought with a couple of other drivers in the turn before the contact happened,” said the 24-year-old, who had a battle with his Italian rival at Lausitzring earlier this year.

“Mortara was behind me as we reached the fast section of the circuit. I tried to give him a little space, but he made contact with me, pushing me off track, and I hurt my back in the process.”

Head of DTM for Mercedes-Benz, Ulrich Fritz, said that the Stuttgart outfit was “not satisfied” with the overall result after another taxing weekend, but their gap to Audi has reduced further still.

“Still, three Mercedes-Benz drivers in the Top Ten is not exactly bad. More should certainly have been possible, but at least we reduced the gap on Audi in the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championship, while extending our lead in the team standings.”

The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters now heads to the Red Bull Ring in a fortnight’s time for rounds 9 and 10, where they will look to take the fight to Audi and BMW once again.

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