Robert Wickens was delighted with what hecalled a ‘perfect’ Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 in the opening Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters race in Moscow, which took place in heavy rain.
Wickens moved to the top of the drivers’ championship standings with his second win of the season, after passing stable-mate Gary Paffett for the lead on the first racing lap.
The Canadian was imperious in the tricky conditions, quickly establishing a comfortable lead before easing off near the end of the 21-lap race when victory was in the bag.
Wickens victory is the fifth of his career in the German series, and he also led home a Mercedes 1-2-3-4 result, which is the first of the season for the Stuttgart manufacturer.
“The car was absolutely fantastic here in the rain,” said Wickens. “It drove perfectly all day, right through from free practice and qualifying to the race.
“The conditions at the start of the race were very difficult. There was a lot of water on the track, and visibility behind the safety car was relatively limited.
“Once I had got past Gary, I had super grip and an incredibly fast car. The better visibility certainly was the key to success.
“Now I’m going to enjoy this result and focus on the second race tomorrow.”
Head of Mercedes -AMG DTM, Ulrich Fritz, added that scoring a strong result in Russia was vital, given the ground which Wickens had lost in the title fight last time out at Zandvoort.
“Today’s race day was just perfect with the top four positions in the bag, and then Felix [Rosenqvist] finishing in the points in his maiden DTM race just put the icing on the cake so to speak. You can’t ask for any more.
“It was especially important to strike back today after Zandvoort. We’ve done that and now lead the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships.
“My thanks go to the whole squad. Their performance as a team was outstanding today.”