Norisring DTM: Mercedes F1 reserve Pascal Wehrlein wins race one

Mercedes Formula 1 reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein led a clean sweep of the top four for the manufacturer in a wet-dry Saturday Norisring DTM race

Norisring DTM: Mercedes F1 reserve Pascal Wehrlein wins race one

Following a heavy rain shower 15 minutes before the race began, seven drivers elected to start on wet tyres.

They spent the opening minutes behind the safety car, after a first corner pile-up triggered when Lucas Auer tagged Miguel Molina on the exit of Turn 1.

When racing resumed, Christian Vietoris, Gary Paffett, Robert Wickens, Paul di Resta, Martin Tomczyk, Daniel Juncadella and Mike Rockenfeller built a lead at the head of the field as the track dried.

Of that pack, Juncadella and Rockenfeller had come from 11th and 22nd on the grid respectively.

Wehrlein bided his time as the best of the drivers on slicks, sitting in eighth place, 30 seconds behind the leaders.

When they pitted to ditch their wet tyres, Wehrlein was close enough to take the lead and he built his own buffer nearing four seconds.

That was gradually cut back to just 0.4s with eight minutes to go, but he remained in charge to claim his second DTM victory.

With Wickens second, Paffett third and polesitter Vietoris fourth, it was an all-Mercedes top four.

Bruno Spengler and Martin Tomczyk were the best of the BMWs in fifth and sixth, ahead of Jamie Green.

The championship leader started third but on slicks and dropped to 11th after running wide at the first corner.

He was then caught up in an incident with di Resta at the chicane, which caused the Scot to retire with right-rear damage.

After di Resta's pitstop, Spengler made a move down the inside of the Mercedes and Green looked to follow him through, only for the gap to close. Stewards opted against taking any further action.

Other than Green's lone hand, it was a quiet afternoon for Audi, which won the first four races of 2015.

Edoardo Mortara finished 11th, Rockenfeller was eventually 14th while Mattias Ekstrom wasn't a factor from 20th on the grid, finishing 17th after a late off at Turn 1.

As a result, Green will start Sunday with a 23-point championship lead.

RESULTS - 46 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Pascal Wehrlein HWA Mercedes 41m02.170s
2 Robert Wickens HWA Mercedes 0.356s
3 Gary Paffett ART Mercedes 0.742s
4 Christian Vietoris HWA Mercedes 1.362s
5 Bruno Spengler MTEK BMW 2.784s
6 Martin Tomczyk Schnitzer BMW 4.902s
7 Jamie Green Rosberg Audi 5.279s
8 Augusto Farfus RBM BMW 8.572s
9 Marco Wittmann RMG BMW 8.943s
10 Daniel Juncadella Mucke Mercedes 9.262s
11 Edoardo Mortara Abt Audi 11.482s
12 Antonio Felix da Costa Schnitzer BMW 13.318s
13 Timo Glock MTEK BMW 15.990s
14 Mike Rockenfeller Phoenix Audi 17.695s
15 Lucas Auer ART Mercedes 17.935s
16 Timo Scheider Phoenix Audi 20.717s
17 Mattias Ekstrom Abt Audi 21.469s
18 Nico Muller Rosberg Audi 25.638s
19 Adrien Tambay Abt Audi 40.423s
20 Miguel Molina Abt Audi 47.794s
- Paul Di Resta HWA Mercedes Retirement
- Maximilian Gotz Mucke Mercedes Retirement
- Tom Blomqvist RBM BMW Retirement
- Maxime Martin RMG BMW Retirement


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