Tag Archives: Norbert Haug

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: dtmmedia

Second season victory: Paffett wins home race at Brands Hatch

Fawkham. At the moment, he is the man to beat in the DTM: with his DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupé, Briton Gary Paffett dominantly won the third round of the year at Brands Hatch (GB). At this season’s first round of the most popular international touring car series outside of Germany, the 31-year old scored a lights-to-flag win in his home race. “This was a great race, everything was perfect. Although my start wasn’t that good, I remained in front and was able to bring victory home without any problems. It would be great when things go on like this”, said Paffett, who already won the season opener at Hockenheim and now has 19 DTM race wins to his tally.

Bruno Spengler was also overjoyed having crossed the finish line after 97 laps to finish second with his BMW M3 DTM. The Canadian looked set to drive an undisputed second place home until ten laps before the end. Then, a front splitter broke on his car and the 28-year old had to defend his place from Mike Rockenfeller, who was behind him with the Audi A5 DTM. “I had a good race and tried to overtake Gary, but he didn’t make any mistakes. After the front splitter was broken, I lost downforce and I had to be careful. That enabled Rockenfeller to put me under pressure. Fortunately, it still was enough for me”, said Spengler. With 43 points, he is closest behind points’ leader Paffett, who is leading tzhe drivers’ standings with 68 points. Mattias Ekström (Audi) is third with 35 points.

With his Audi A5 DTM, Mike Rockenfeller made up one position at the start. The 28-year old German successfully defended his position against the attacks from reigning DTM champion Martin Tomczyk (Audi) and managed to score a podium finish by coming home third. Rockenfeller commented after the race: “The result is very important for Audi and gives a boost to the entire team. At the end, I still tried to get past Bruno, but I didn’t want to risk everything, because the points for third place were very important to me.”

Swede Mattias Ekström (Audi) finished fifth behind Tomczyk. Christian Vietoris dropped back from second to ninth after a poor start. The Mercedes-Benz driver fought back and took the chequered flag in sixth place. Spaniard Miguel Molina (Audi), Briton Jamie Green (Mercedes-Benz) and the two Audi drivers Edoardo Mortara (IT) and Filipe Albuquerque (PT) rounded out the top ten.

In total, 27,000 fans attended the racing weekend in Kent County in the south-east of Great Britain. The next round takes place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, June 3rd.

Norbert Haug, head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz: “Now that was a really thrilling race and I am really delighted with this victory. It would be great when we can continue this series. Gary split up the race the way he needed it. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a walk in the park, because one has to remain incredibly focussed. After his poor start, Christian Vietoris has made up positions and finished sixth. That is something you first have to achieve at a track like this.”

Jens Marquardt, BMW motorsport director: “Bruno had a great start and moved up into second place. He put pressure on and was able to keep this up. After his front splitter was broken, we had problems with the aerodynamics of the vehicle. But Bruno did a great job in bringing his second place home. That was a very strong performance! The second podium after three races already is not what we had expected beforehand.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport Audi: “Today, we have made the best out of our possibilities. Especially Mike Rockenfeller and Miguel Molina were very quick in the race. The podium reflects the current situation in the DTM: all three manufacturers are competing at an identical level. It is a matter of tenths, hundredths and thousandths. Rocky’s third place gives the entire team an additional boost. Mattias Ekström has moved up to third place in the standings.”

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: mercedesamg

Nico Rosberg took a commanding victory at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai today. Starting from pole position, he took the chequered flag with a 20s margin over the second placed car, achieving his first win in Formula One.

Nico Rosberg
“This is a very special moment for me. The whole weekend went perfectly. My first pole position, now my first win in Formula One – it really is fantastic. But it´s not only this; it´s the first win for the new Silver Arrow and for this great team. That is really special for me. Thanks to everybody in the team, here in China and in our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. It makes me very proud that we have improved the car so quickly. I will never forget this race, and the last 20 laps felt as long as if I was racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours! But then crossing the line was so intense. We will enjoy this success, but our feet are still on the ground. We are still not where we want to be, we are still working hard to understand the car and the tyres in all conditions, and we will keep pushing to improve our race pace even further. We will see how that works out in Bahrain.”

Michael Schumacher
“First of all, congratulations to the whole team, to Mercedes-Benz and of course to Nico who achieved a perfect victory from start to finish. He did a great job today and yesterday, and I am happy for him. As for my race, my right front tyre got loose following my first pit stop. As I did not want to cause any bigger damage to the car, I stopped on the grass. I felt there was something wrong immediately and especially in turn three, when I put pressure on the right side of the car. Up until then I had a controlled race I´d say, keeping the others behind me and the tyres together. Of course, this was an unfortunate ending to what could have been a nice race, and I feel sorry for the guys, who always work so hard and give their best. But we all know that´s part of the game.”

Ross Brawn
“This is a truly special and historic day. I am so delighted for Nico, he has deserved to take his first victory several times, and has now done so by driving a perfectly judged race from pole position. I am excited to see how he develops now he has that win under his belt. Commiserations to Michael, who was driving a controlled race in second position, but was forced to retire after his pit stop. However, he is the first man to say that we win and lose as a team, and his performances this year prove that he is equally capable of climbing to the top step of the podium. Heartfelt congratulations to all our team here at the track, in Brackley and in Brixworth; they have put tremendous effort into this project, and we are now starting to see the rewards for their dedication and expertise. Finally, I must thank all our colleagues at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart and around the world – their support has been unstinting, and we are proud to deliver the first victory for a works Silver Arrow car in 57 years. I was just one year old when Juan Manuel Fangio won in Monza in 1955 – but this victory is something I will remember, and savour, for a very long time indeed!”

Norbert Haug
“What a sensational victory from Nico and our team! It was unbelievable how Nico drove and controlled the race from lap one to 56. A big thank you to everybody in Brackley, Brixworth, Stuttgart, Fellbach, Untertürkheim and Möhringen for all their relentless work and their belief in our capabilities and that we can make it. Nico´s performance was superb today, the team executed a great two-stop strategy, and Nico and his car managed the tyres very well. It was a shame for Michael, who dropped out after his first pit stop because of a problem with the right front wheel; he missed out on a possible very good podium result. It was particularly sweet to see Jenson and Lewis on the podium – Mercedes Power to the power of three!”

Motorsports Mondial

Paul Di Resta’s masterpiece: 2010 DTM champion

Shanghai. Fortune in the Far East. Scottish Mercedes-Benz driver Paul Di Resta ends up second in the DTM finale in the metropolis of Shanghai, which makes him the 2010 DTM champion. Bruno Spengler from Canada (Mercedes-Benz), who was the points’ leader prior to the race, failed to make up positions from 17th place on the grid following an accident in qualifying, which cost him his three points’ margin. In the final standings, 24-year old Di Resta has 71 points. “This smile won’t be off my face for a long time. Fortunately, my flight is only booked for Monday. I would have liked for more family members to be here to celebrate with me. But now, I will celebrate with the team. Today, it was more about the title rather than victory in the race. That has worked out”, Di Resta described his feelings. In total, the Scot scored three race wins and three second places this season. Di Resta only failed to score points on two occasions.

British driver Gary Paffett won the race in China, which allowed him to become runner-up in the final drivers’ standings to complete the 1-2-3 for Mercedes-Benz in the championship. “Now, I have won for the second time in Shanghai after 2004. I am enjoying this type of circuits. My goal was to win this race. The rest was out of my hands”, said race winner Paffett.

The German DTM champion of the years 2008 and 2009, Timo Scheider, became the best-placed driver of an Audi A4 DTM by finishing third in the DTM finale. In the battle for the title, Scheider was also the best driver with four rings on the bonnet of his car in fourth place. “Admittedly, I had problems at the beginning of the season, but the team kept its faith in me. In the second half of the season, I was again able to battle for pole positions and race wins. Third place in the final round is a good way to end the year”, said Scheider, looking back on the 2010 season.

Behind German Martin Tomczyk (Audi) in fourth place, Spaniard Miguel Molina became the best-placed driver with a 2008-spec car with his Audi A4 DTM in fifth. DTM rookie David Coulthard from Scotland achieved his maiden points’ finish. The Mercedes-Benz driver ended up eighth and scored one point. 19,000 spectators came to watch the DTM season finale in the Far East. After a collision with seven minutes remaining, the race was stopped and wasn’t restarted.

The first DTM race of the 2011 season will take place at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg on May 1st next year.

Head of motorsport Mercedes-Benz Norbert Haug: “Paul Di Resta is a worthy champion. Yesterday, that was by no means certain. After all, making a mistake here is easy. It was a thrilling race. Gary’s second victory here in Shanghai speaks for him. Everybody involved has worked together very well. We have had quite a few good seasons before, but this year with the first three places was something quite special. The fact that the first three drivers were separated by only five points shows how close competition in this series is.”

Head of motorsport Audi Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: “I am proud of being a member of such a great team that is working on a common goal. We haven’t been as strong as in the years before. Even the smallest errors sometimes mean that you have to end your championship dreams. When you lose, it doesn’t mean that you are weak, it just means that others were a little bit stronger. We have to catch up and we have learned our lesson, from which we will benefit next year.”

R.O.C.

Formula 1 superstars Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher both hailed Team Germany’s incredible fourth successive victory in the ROC Nations Cup after a rollercoaster evening in front of their home crowd.

In a repeat of the last two ROC Nations Cup finals, Team Germany lined up against Team GB, represented in the ESPRIT arena by Andy Priaulx and Jason Plato.

The two teams were extremely closely matched and needed a sudden-death shoot-out to decide the result, with Schumacher beating Priaulx by a fraction.

After such an exciting ROC Nations Cup, the drivers gave their reaction to events. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Michael Schumacher (Team Germany): “It is special because we had won this three times in a row which was great anyway. So to do it a fourth time here in Germany, considering we were almost knocked out in the group stages, is fantastic – we are more than happy. The crowd were very supportive tonight; they were cheering us all the way and with Sebastian having just won the world championship it was even more emotional and fun out there tonight. After the group stages we definitely needed to wake up – it felt like we were asleep. But when we were in the final, against the British guys, I thought we had a good chance.”

Sebastian Vettel (Team Germany): “The moment I went out on to the track everyone stood up and went crazy. It was a really cool night for all the fans, as well as for Michael and myself to get so much support. It was extremely close in the first round and we thought we might get knocked out. But I was lucky I had Michael on my team. It was a fun experience and to win at home, the first time in many years that The Race of Champions has been held in Germany, is very special.”

Andy Priaulx (Team GB): “To race against Michael Schumacher is always a privilege and we were beaten by two good guys tonight. I had some good races today, particularly the one against Sebastian Vettel. I beat the current Formula 1 world champion which is not bad for an old touring car driver! That is three years in a row I have lost out in the final after losing to Germany at Wembley and then Beijing. I really wanted to get it today but it is great to be here and we did well.”

Jason Plato (Team GB): “For lots of reasons we really wanted to win that one but in the end we weren’t quick enough. I let the side down a bit as I wasn’t on the top of my game when Andy certainly was. We gave it a good shot – close but no cigar.”

Bertrand Baguette (Team Benelux): “I had a lot of fun and for me racing against Michael Schumacher, Sébastien Loeb and Alain Prost is a dream. It went quite well but unfortunately we didn’t make it to the final. I have to say I am happy for the people who voted for me to be here as part of Team Benelux. I am really proud to be here and very happy I could be here thanks to them.”

Heikki Kovalainen (Team Nordic): “That’s the way it is sometimes. I managed to do well in my races and win all three but we had tough opponents. It is nothing to be ashamed of; just the way it is and next year we have to come back a bit stronger.”

Tom Kristensen (Team Nordic): “It is frustrating to be eliminated in the first round. Heikki did a fantastic job to win all his races and it would have been nice to progress but there’s always next time. It makes me even more determined to do better tomorrow. You don’t need to use the cars on Monday so everyone will push even harder!”

Carl Edwards (Team USA): “I had fun driving and I am excited for tomorrow when I need to redeem myself. I don’t know what went wrong; I was just slower than I was yesterday. I was much faster yesterday, especially in the KTM, but there is no excuse, it was just me. I will run better tomorrow, I’m sure.”

Travis Pastrana (Team USA): “It felt really good to beat Sebastian Vettel in the first round and it was just really cool to race him because I have so much respect for him. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t go through but it was awesome having Carl Edwards over here and driving alongside me for Team USA. It was a bit tough for us out there but now I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Mick Doohan (Team All Stars): “That was an absolutely fantastic experience, really enjoyable. I was surprised to beat Carl Edwards because he spends all his year driving cars so I enjoyed that. This is a lot of fun for me and I just enjoy driving these cars against these drivers. I have a blast and if I can come close to these guys I am really happy.”

Alvaro Parente (Team Portugal): “I got the puncture during the run so I hit the wall because of that. Already on the straight the car didn’t feel quite right so maybe I could have stopped there but I am a racing driver so I tried to push on. The puncture cost us the chance to go through but that was just down to bad luck and I’ll try to get a better result tomorrow.”

Tonight’s official attendance was 36,189 and tickets are still available to see the main event tomorrow, when the stars of world motorsport go head to head for individual glory in The Race of Champions.