Mercedes AMG’s dominant pace marred by pit lane incidents
Mercedes AMG was fastest of the three DTM manufacturers at the Hungaroring today, locking out the first five positions of the grid and placing six cars in the top seven. The team was set for a dominant race, but the incidents in the pit lane, with Lucas Auer and Edoardo Mortara running over mechanics and marshals, turned the fortunes for them.
Auer started from pole position and led in the initial stages. However, rain started falling over the Hungaroring on lap four and Pascal Wehrlein took the lead from his team-mate before the Austrian headed into the pits when the dramatic incident occurred.
“After the incident at the pit stop, sadly, my heart wasn’t in the race anymore. Sure, I still finished, but all I wanted to know was how the two race marshals are doing. I didn’t care about anything else,” said the Austrian.
The incident, as it happened to Mortara a lap later, was blamed on the nature of the surface of the work lane of the pits. Auer said: ”There are two different types of surface in the pit lane, and I was already coming in as slowly as possible. But I couldn’t steer anymore, so I just slid straight ahead into the collision. I was only a passenger in the car. This kind of thing cannot be allowed to happen again.”
Mortara found himself in an equally dangerous situation: “As I entered the pit lane, it was under water and there was an ambulance and marshals everywhere. As soon as I touched the brake pedal ever so lightly, the wheels locked up and I just drove straight towards the mechanics and the pit equipment.”
“I’m just glad that nothing happened to any of my mechanics in this incident, and I am very sorry that things didn’t work out quite so well for the marshal with the broken leg. I wish him a speedy recovery,” said the Italian.
Paul di Resta charged in the latter stages of the race to salvage fifth position, little consolation after the promising pace showed in qualifying: “We were left trying to salvage something after the red flag. We maximised that, but as a manufacturer of course, you have to be a bit disappointed because we didn’t capitalise on everything we had. But hey, that’s racing.”
Mercedes AMG’s DTM boss Ulrich Fritz’ first thoughts were also for the injured marshals: “After incidents like the ones we’ve seen today, the sporting outcome is obviously of secondary importance. We wish all the injured a rapid recovery.”
The Stuttgart-based manufacturer still leads the championship table with 297 points, but only 57 ahead of BMW Motorsport that placed all six cars in the points.
“After the level of performance we have been putting in all weekend, it’s a bitter disappointment to come away virtually empty-handed. But that too is part of motorsport,” concluded Fritz.