DTM Zandvoort 2012: Qualifying - Jamie Green and championship leader Gary Paffett start on third and fourth row in the 350th DTM race for Mercedes-Benz
DTM championship leader Gary Paffett (THOMAS Sabo Mercedes AMG C-Coupé) secured the eighth fastest time in the third part of qualifying – 1:31.820 minutes – and will be on the fourth row in the race at Zandvoort. Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé / 1:31.973) finished ninth.
The seventh race of the season on Sunday will be the 350th DTM races for Mercedes-Benz since the first works entry in 1988. Since then, the most successful manufacturer in DTM history has achieved 168 victories, 111 pole positions and 165 fastest laps.
Qualifying Part 1: Jamie Green posted the fastest time – 1:32.163 minutes – in the first part of qualifying. Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:33.161) and David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:33.409) secured grid positions 19 and 22 respectively. Eight tenths of a second covered the top 16 drivers in Q1.
Qualifying Part 2: Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:31.997), Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:32.241) and Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé / 1:32.295) finished in positions twelve, 14 and 15 respectively. The top ten were separated by only six tenths of a second.
Comments on qualifying:
Jamie Green (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Sixth (1:31.643):
„My qualifying was very promising, though it may not look that way at first. Our Mercedes AMG C-Coupé showed good pace, but unfortunately, I ran wide on my lap and had to drive through the gravel bed. Finishing sixth under these circumstances fills me with confidence for the race.“
Gary Paffett (THOMAS SABO Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Eighth (1:31.820):
„Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to progress through to Q4, but I'm satisfied considering the circumstances. Sadly, I was unable to utilise the car’s full potential over a complete lap. Our C-Coupé is normally very strong in the race, and, given Sunday’s weather forecast, all things should be possible.“
Christian Vietoris (Mercedes-Benz Bank AMG C-Coupé), Ninth (1:31.973):
„Grid positions six, eight and nine are a decent enough platform for Mercedes-Benz in the race. As regards the championship, Gary and Jamie are not in a bad position, and we’ll all step on it tomorrow to get ahead.“
Robert Wickens (stern Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), Twelfth (1:31.997):
„Too bad that it was not enough to go through to the third part of qualifying today as I did last time at the Nürburgring just a week ago. In not one sector did I manage to get the maximum out of the car, but twelfth on the grid is still a decent starting position for me.“
Roberto Merhi (Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 14th (1:32.241):
„My Junge Sterne Mercedes AMG C-Coupé felt really good, but unfortunately, I couldn’t exploit the car’s full potential on my final lap. I hope that tomorrow goes better.“
Ralf Schumacher (Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 15th (1:32.295):
„The times in qualifying were very close. I missed progressing to Q3 in the end by only two tenths. We will now have to analyse why, and then put everything into the race. It won’t be easy, but all is not yet lost.“
Susie Wolff (TV Spielfilm Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 19th (1:33.161):
„Today’s qualifying was a very close-run thing again, but I had hoped for more than 19th place on the grid. My team did a great job and the car did not feel too bad. Now I'll attack in the race to improve my position as much as possible.“
David Coulthard (DHL Paket Mercedes AMG C-Coupé), 22nd (1:33.409):
„Qualifying did not go brilliantly today. I had intended doing better. But now, I’ll just have to do my best tomorrow to make the most of my P22. It’s going to be a tough race and vitally important to emerge unscathed from the first turn.“
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport:
„Jamie had the fastest time in Q3 within his grasp, ran wide into the gras, came back and posted two faster sector times than Timo Scheider, who came home in P1. As Jamie's middle sector time in Q2 shows, barring any mistakes, best time was definitely on the cards.
„So now Jamie and Gary are in P6 and P8, which is not too bad, considering the championship table and our immediate rivals.
„Our long runs in race trim were strong and in view of that, we'll have to see whether we can split the Audi quintet in front of us.
„Congratulations to Audi Sport, to Timo Scheider on his convincing pole after a lengthy lean period and to Abt, Phoenix and Rosberg for securing all top five places today.
„Our team members have been thinking about our mechanics who were injured in Friday’s pit stop incident. Thank God that three of them were able to leave hospital that same day and that the fourth colleague is doing well under the circumstances.
„Tomorrow, everyone in HWA’s team will do everything they can to get the best possible outcome especially for these four colleagues. With three cars in places six to nine, the platform is not ideal, but not that bad.“
* Official photo and details courtesy of Mercedes-AMG GmbH *
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