Mercedes-Benz racer Pascal Wehrlein reclaimed the DTM points lead with victory in the opening race of the weekend at the Moscow Raceway.
The Mercedes F1 reserve driver beat poleman Marco Wittman to record his second win of the campaign, as title rival Mattias Ekstrom crashed out after a botched overtake on BMW’s Timo Glock while battling for fourth.
“This was a perfect day,” said Werhlein. “I am surprised myself how well the car worked throughout the distance. This really was a damn good race.”
Wittman led the majority of the race, interrupted by two safety car periods, first for an opening lap crash as Christian Vietoris shunted the stricken Miguel Molina, and the later Ekstrom-Glock clash.
Wehrlein shadowed the BMW racer throughout, making a decisive move for the lead with just four laps left to run.
“Pascal was simply too fast,” said Wittman. “I defended my position with all I had, but in these conditions, I didn’t have a chance.”
Wittman was forced to settle for second ahead of fellow BMW driver Bruno Spengler, who snatched third from Audi’s Jamie Green on the final tour.
“On the final lap, Jamie had made a couple of mistakes, which allowed me to close up to him,” explained Spengler. “Before the final corner of the race, I made use of my DRS and got past.”
Daniel Juncadella came home fifth, from Edoardo Mortara and Gary Paffet – the latter having charged from just 20th on the grid.
Tom Blomqvist was eighth, while Nico Muller and Mike Rockefeller claimed the final points on offer in ninth and 10th respectively.
European Formula 3 points leader Antonio Giovinazzi, substituting for the suspended Timo Schedier, was 19th on his DTM debut.
Image courtesy of DTM