Mercedes-Benz wins Manufacturers’ and Teams’ titles ahead of time

Mercedes-Benz wins Manufacturers’ and Teams’ titles ahead of time

Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett
Photo: Daimler AG

Mercedes-Benz has secured the 2018 DTM Manufacturers’ and Teams’ titles at the Red Bull Ring, one round ahead of schedule, with the marque also in the prime position to take the Drivers’ title in its last year in the series.

Thanks to the fact that Brits Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett are leading the drivers’ standings, with six wins between them, Mercedes has been able to claim two titles one round ahead of the season finale at Hockenheim.

Mercedes are comfortably ahead of nearest rivals BMW, with 865 points compared to their Munich rivals’ 563. It gives the Stuttgart marque its seventh manufacturers’ crown in 30 years of competing in the DTM.

The Teams’ title was also wrapped up by the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Petronas outfit where Paffett and team-mate Pascal Wehrlein have banked the points. Two other Mercedes teams also feature in the top three of that classification, although in reality all three are run by HWA under separate banners.

Despite wrapping up the titles early, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM Ulrich Fritz was disappointed with Sunday’s results in Austria, which saw pole-sitter Paffett only able to finish third in the end, behind two Audi drivers.

“We cannot be satisfied with today’s result,” said Fritz. “It’s extremely disappointing when you start with three cars in the top four and then only secure one podium in the end, especially in view of the fact that René Rast’s win has enabled him to gain ground again on Paul and Gary.

“Not even today’s win in the constructors’ and team classification can make up for that. It’s already abundantly clear that we’ve got a tough fight ahead of us at Hockenheim, and we’ll have to prepare for that now.”

The only other driver who can clinch the Drivers’ title is Audi’s René Rast, who took his fourth consecutive win of the season to begin to present a serious threat to the leading Mercedes duo ahead of the season finale.