Late Zandvoort punctures still hurt, says Mercedes DTM boss Fritz

The Mercedes DTM team says it is still hurting over the late-race punctures that cost it points at Zandvoort and hurt Robert Wickens' championship push

Late Zandvoort punctures still hurt, says Mercedes DTM boss Fritz

Wickens was running second to eventual winner Jamie Green in the second race at Zandvoort when he suffered a tyre failure, while fourth-placed Christian Vietoris suffered the same fate.

That lost result left Wickens 22 points adrift of BMW's championship leader Marco Wittmann heading into the summer break, and a month later the misfortune still bothers Mercedes DTM boss Ulrich Fritz.

"We've seen over the last few race weekends that the potential is definitely there - both in terms of the car and of the team and drivers," said Fritz ahead of the season resuming at Moscow Raceway this weekend.

"Obviously, a race like the one we experienced on Sunday at Zandvoort continues to niggle.

"It was a bitter disappointment to miss out on so many vital championship points in the final five minutes.

"But we've talked about it as a team, and I've been really impressed by the morale of the troops. No-one is fretting unduly.

"Instead, we are seeing a determination to redouble our efforts, which I find impressive.

"Hopefully, we've used up all our bad luck for the season and the team is about to be rewarded for its strong performance."

ROSENQVIST IN AT THE DEEP END

Mercedes welcomes reigning European Formula 3 champion Felix Rosenqvist into its race line-up this weekend, the Swede being promoted to replace new Manor Formula 1 driver Esteban Ocon at ART.

Rosenqvist has served as Mercedes' DTM reserve driver this season, and he will slot in alongside series veteran and 2005 champion Gary Paffett at the French team.

"In Felix, we have yet another talented driver making his DTM debut this weekend, one we've supported since his time in Formula 3," said Fritz.

"To some extent, he's being thrown in at the deep end halfway through the season.

"But I am convinced that his experience as our test and reserve driver will quickly help him find his feet.

"I'm curious to see how he and Esteban perform on their debuts in the DTM and F1 respectively over the next two weekends. They both have what it takes."

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Mercedes replaces Manor F1 driver Ocon with Rosenqvist in DTM

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