The Norisring circuit for 2014
|Date||27th - 29th June|
|Official Name||DTM Norisring 2014|
|Lap length||2.300km (1.429mi)|
|Distance||82 laps (262.400km (163.048mi))|
|Robert Wickens||Jamie Green||Mattias Ekström|
|Winner Team||Team HWA|
|Fastest Lap||0:48.610 on lap 79|
Robert Wickens took pole and victory in what was the strongest showing by Mercedes-Benz for some time, although a poor race saw them pick up but a fraction of the points their qualifying pace promised. Jamie Green and Mattias Ekström completed the podium, with Pascal Wehrlein the only other Mercedes driver to score any points, despite the marque's pace.
Marco Wittmann enjoyed a nineteen point margin over his nearest title rival Mike Rockenfeller after the Hungaroring round, an advantage that looked set to remain at the Norisring. Edoardo Mortara, Miguel Molina and Adrien Tambay completed the top five, with Christian Vietoris, the only man other than Wittmann to have won a race in 2014, in sixth, and first of the Mercedes drivers.
BMW Team RMG led the way in the Team's Championship, a five point margin holding Team Abt at bay after the Hungarian battle. Abt Sportsline were in close attendance in third, with Team Phoenix in a tight battle with Team HWA over fourth. Two teams, Mücke Motorsport and the one car outfit of Team HWA (Pascal Wehrlein's entry) had yet to score.
Mercedes' hopes of ending their poor run of results (despite Vietoris' victory) was most lilely to end at the Norisring, at track that the three pointed star has historically gone well at. That said, the gap between themselves and BMW in second was enough that almost all of the Mercedes cars would have to score, without BMW scoring at all, just to get them back into the battle for second. Audi, meanwhile, held a comfortable lead at the summit, yet were without a race win so far.
Below is the entry list for the Norisring 2014:
Qualifying at the Norisring followed the format used throughout the season, with a thirteen minute Q1 session involving all 23 cars, followed by the eleven minute Q2 session. Once the slowest ten of the eighteen in Q2 were removed the final nine minute Q3 session saw the top eight fight for pole position.
The king of Q1 proved to be Mattias Ekström, although the gap to second placed Robert Wickens was just 0.001s, the last significant figure that the timekeepers could measure. Wickens was leading a renaissance for Mercedes as, for the first time, six of their cars escaped elimination from qualifying, having lost four or more in the previous three races. Only Vitaly Petrov, making his debut, fell for the three pointed star (and was dead last), joined by fellow Norisring novice António Félix da Costa. Also out went BMW Team Schnitzer's Martin Tomczyk, and the two Audis of Timo Scheider and Edoardo Mortara.
Mike Rockenfeller led the field out for Q2, although that fact did little to aid his bid to get into Q3, as Mercedes proved their dominance in Nuremburg. All five Team HWA run cars made it through, with Wickens heading them once again, closely followed by Christian Vietoris in second. Jamie Green, at his personal favourite circuit (taking victory four times in the past), was the fastest of the Audis, preventing an all Mercedes top five in the session (down in fifth), just ahead of the sole survivng BMW of Marco Wittmann. Ekstrom rouned out the top eight, having set an identical time to Gary Paffett, last of the Mercedes survivers in seventh.
Vietoris opened Q3 as the first man out of the pits, but it was Wickens who was on the move, setting the first competitive time of the session, before, a lap later, smashing through the 0:48.000 barrier. Paul di Resta briefly overtook him, before, in the final minutes, Wickens leapt back ahead, taking pole with a time of 0:47.883, the fastest time of the weekend and a tenth faster than di Resta. Green was once again fastest of the Audis in third, with Wehrlein and Paffett rounding ou the top five. Vietoris ended the session in sixth, with Championship contenders Ekstrom and Wittmann set to share row four.
With no incidents reported during the session, the DMSB confirmed the session result as it stood at the end of Q3.
The results of qualifying for race two are shown below.
|Norisring 2014 Qualifying Result|
|1||12||Robert Wickens||Team HWA||0:48.115||0:48.016||0:47.883||1|
|2||6||Paul di Resta||Team HWA||0:48.127||0:48.075||0:47.976||2|
|3||21||Jamie Green||Team Rosberg||0:48.241||0:48.082||0:47.995||3|
|4||25||Pascal Wehrlein||Team HWA||0:48.138||0:48.052||0:48.008||4|
|5||11||Gary Paffett||Team HWA||0:48.355||0:48.142||0:48.033||5|
|6||5||Christian Vietoris||Team HWA||0:48.124||0:48.028||0:48.033||6|
|7*||7||Mattias Ekström||Abt Sportsline||0:48.114||0:48.142||0:48.079||12|
|8||23||Marco Wittmann||BMW Team RMG||0:48.210||0:48.098||0:48.210||7|
|9||16||Adrien Tambay||Team Abt||0:48.220||0:48.223||8|
|10||22||Nico Müller||Team Rosberg||0:48.127||0:48.235||9|
|11||24||Maxime Martin||BMW Team RMG||0:48.295||0:48.267||10|
|12||1||Mike Rockenfeller||Team Phoenix||0:48.331||0:48.292||11|
|13||17||Timo Glock||BMW Team MTEK||0:48.337||0:48.316||13|
|14||4||Joey Hand||BMW Team RBM||0:48.416||0:48.320||14|
|15||3||Augusto Farfus||BMW Team RBM||0:48.337||0:48.329||15|
|16||9||Bruno Spengler||BMW Team Schnitzer||0:48.119||0:48.329||16|
|17||19||Daniel Juncadella||Mücke Motorsport||0:48.379||0:48.375||17|
|18||8||Miguel Molina||Abt Sportsline||0:48.303||0:48.434||18|
|19||10||Martin Tomczyk||BMW Team Schnitzer||0:48.417||19|
|20||15||Edoardo Mortara||Team Abt||0:48.439||20|
|21||2||Timo Scheider||Team Phoenix||0:48.480||21|
|22||18||António Félix da Costa||BMW Team MTEK||0:48.488||22|
|23||20||Vitaly Petrov||Mücke Motorsport||0:48.544||23|
- * Ekstrom handed a five place grid penalty for blocking Wehrlein unfairly.
Despite that penalty for Mattias Ekström, the grid was not modified any further before the race start. Before the start, however, the race officials allowed the teams to open the boxes containing the wet tyres, as a flurry of showers coated the track with water throughout the hours before the race.
A heavy shower as the grid formed up from the pitlane prompted the officials to start the race behind the Safety Car, which was to stay out until the majority of the drivers believed the circuit to be safe. It was as Robert Wickens bunched the pack up on the third lap as the safety car came in that the first piece of drama occurred. Paul di Resta drifted into the path of Jamie Green (his former team mate) just as Wickens exited the final corner, with the Englishman reacting faster than the Scot. The net result was the di Resta found himself pointing the wrong way as Green shot off to catch Wickens, who crossed the line with a two second lead.
Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus also came to blows at the final hairpin a lap later, although neither spun, as physical battles appeared to be the order of the day. Di Resta found himself down in twelfth after spinning his car round, as Daniel Juncadella ran extremely wide into the final hairpin. Juncadella then found himself in a spin after contact with Miguel Molina coming through the chicane a lap later, meaning he dropped to the very back of the field.
At the back of the field, several of the BMWs opted to pit in for a fresh set of wet tyres, a move designed to remove their mandatory pitstop requirement, which would usually been limited to the pitstop window. More contact was to be found in the mid-pack, as Joey Hand slipped into the side of Nico Müller, sending the Swiss driver into a spin. A lap later, Adrien Tambay forced his way past Marco Wittmann, opening the door for Wittmann's team mate Maxime Martin to get past as well. Martin and Tambay then went side by side for the better part of a lap, with the Belgian eventaully managing to hold his new position.
As di Resta came into to fulfill his pitstop requirement, Wickens, Green, Paffett and Wehrlein continued to pull ahead, with Vietoris a few lengths ahead of Martin in sixth. Green was then handed a five second pitstop penalty, which he would undertake during his mandatory pitstop, awarded for his contact with di Resta earlier on. But, at that point of the race, Green was the fastest man on track, yet was only fractionally faster than Wickens.
At the back of the field, Muller and Vitaly Petrov found themselves in the race official's notebook for ignoring blue flags, the pair having come to physical blows as the leaders came past. As they served their drive-thrus, Paffett lost out to Wehrlein for third, with Vietoris following his compatriot past a few laps later. Paffett took that fall as a prompt to change tyres, bolting on a fresh set of wets, gambling that the track wouldn't dry out enough for slicks before the end of the race.
Vietoris' charge saw him claim third from Wehrlein, while Mattias Ekström began to weave his way through the lower half of the top ten. The Swede was hoping to put the ghosts of 2013 to bed at the Norisring, having been disqualified from the result despite winning the 2013 race outright. His charge saw Wittmann, Tambay and Martin fall to the Swede in short order, with Tambay using the Swede's move to get past the Belgian driver as well. The following ten laps saw the rest of the field, from Wickens on down, trickle into the pits for their tyre swaps.
Yet, it was Wickens who pitted last, and the team opted to switch to the slick tyre, having seen Spengler bolt on a set on lap 52. Most of the rest of the top ten had already made the switch, but Wickens' timing was better, with the track still wet enough for him to extend his lead, before starting on the slicks as they began to come into their own. Meanwhile, Green fell behind Vietoris after his penalty, while Glock was released straight into the side of Martin Tomczyk, with the former F1 racer handed a drive-thru penalty for an unsafe release.
Tomczyk was also in the wars, locking up into the hairpin and smacking into the back of Paffett, sending the Brit (still on wets) into a spin. Tomczyk was sent into the pits to retire a short while later, as the final cars on wets from earlier on came in to swap for slicks. Meanwhile, Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider were locked in a battle with Wittmann for eighth, while Estrom's charge brought him ever closer to the podium.
The Swede's charge was aided by a collison between Tambay and Wehrlein as the Frenchman tried to get past, a collision which sent the German into a spin. Tambay was slapped with a penalty for causing the accident, while Ekstrom made short work of his team mate Edoardo Mortara, climbing up to the back of Green for third. Yet, there was still drama to come, as the DRS became active for the first time in the race, and Miguel Molina came into the pits to retire.
Next man to suffer in the race was Vietoris in second, whose wheel came lose with just a handful of laps to go. That handed Green second and Ekstrom third, as the organisers swapped to a timed finish rather than the full race distance. But, that did not matter, Wickens started the 82nd, scheduled lap, before the clock reached zero, before coming round again to take the chequered flag. Green and Ekstrom completed the podium, with Mortara fourth and the battling Tambay and Wehrlein fifth and sixth. Tambay later dropped to ninth after his time penalty was applied.
The second race final result is displayed below:
|Norisring 2014 Race Result|
|Pos.||No.||Nat.||Name||Team||Laps||Race Time||Fastest lap||Pts.|
|1||12||Robert Wickens||Team HWA||82||1:15:21.118||0:48.682||25|
|2||21||Jamie Green||Team Rosberg||82||+23.906s||0:48.914||18|
|3||7||Mattias Ekström||Abt Sportsline||82||+25.922s||0:48.610||15|
|4||15||Edoardo Mortara||Team Abt||82||+32.875s||0:48.809||12|
|5||25||Pascal Wehrlein||Team HWA||82||+44.788s||0:49.102||10|
|6||23||Marco Wittmann||BMW Team RMG||82||+46.050s||0:48.930||8|
|7||4||Joey Hand||BMW Team RBM||82||+47.991s||0:49.013||6|
|8||1||Mike Rockenfeller||Team Phoenix||82||+48.803s||0:49.076||4|
|9||16||Adrien Tambay||Team Abt||82||+1:14.661||0:49.506||2|
|10||2||Timo Scheider||Team Phoenix||81||+1 lap||0:49.085||1|
|11||9||Bruno Spengler||BMW Team Schnitzer||81||+1 lap||0:49.333|
|12||11||Gary Paffett||Team HWA||81||+1 lap||0:48.740|
|13||19||Daniel Juncadella||Mücke Motorsport||81||+1 lap||0:49.064|
|14||3||Augusto Farfus||BMW Team RBM||81||+1 lap||0:49.039|
|15||6||Paul di Resta||Team HWA||81||+1 lap||0:48.629|
|16||17||Timo Glock||BMW Team MTEK||80||+2 laps||0:48.912|
|17||18||António Félix da Costa||BMW Team MTEK||80||+2 laps||0:48.708|
|18||24||Maxime Martin||BMW Team RMG||80||+2 laps||0:48.755|
|19||22||Nico Müller||Team Rosberg||80||+2 laps||0:48.994|
|20||20||Vitaly Petrov||Mücke Motorsport||80||+2 laps||0:49.020|
|21*||5||Christian Vietoris||Team HWA||73||+9 laps||0:49.303|
|22*||8||Miguel Molina||Abt Sportsline||71||+11 laps||0:49.374|
|Ret||10||Martin Tomczyk||BMW Team Schnitzer||59||Accident||0:53.557|
- Indicates that a driver started on the wet tyre.
- * Classified for completing 75% of the race distance, despite retiring.
- Second win for Robert Wickens.
So, Marco Wittmann retained his lead heading to Moscow, and held on to his nineteen point advantage too. Edoardo Mortara and Mattias Ekström now led the charge behind him with Mike Rockenfeller dropping to fourth, level on points with the Swede. Adrien Tambay remained in fifth, while Robert Wickens leapt up into the top ten through his victory, those 25 points being his first of the season.
Team Abt now led the way in the Teams' Championship, holding a single point lead over BMW Team RMG after the Norisring round. Abt Sportsline and Team Phoenix remained in third and fourth respectively, with the first Team HWA pairing staying behind them in fifth. There were two teams on the move however, as Jamie Green's podium pushed Team Rosberg further into the top ten, five behind the second Team HWA outfit now led by Wickens. Mücke Motorsport were now the only team yet to score.
It was status quo in the Manufacturers' Championship, although Mercedes were disappointed not to have gained more ground after their dominance in qualifying. Audi continued to build their lead over BMW, meanwhile, with the Munich based squad themselves not really threatened by the Mercs.
Only point scoring drivers and teams are shown.
Videos and Images:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 'The 2014 DTM Races at a Glance', dtm.com, (DTM, 2014), http://www.ww.dtm.com/en/Races/DTM-Dates-2014/calendar.html, (Accessed 22/05/2015)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 'SOVEREIGN START-FINISH VICTORY FOR ROBERT WICKENS', dtm.com, (ITR e.V., 29/06/2014), http://www.dtm.com/de/news/souver-ner-start-ziel-sieg-f-r-robert-wickens-2014-06-29.html, (Accessed 22/05/2015)
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 'ROBERT WICKENS OBSOLETE FOR MERCEDES-BENZ FIRST POLE POSITION OF THE SEASON (trans.), dtm.com, (ITR e.V., 28/06/2014), http://www.dtm.com/de/news/robert-wickens-startet-auf-dem-norisring-von-der-pole-position-2014-06-28.html?language=de, (Accessed 23/05/2015)
- ↑ 'EKSTRÖM SET BACK BY FIVE PLACES', dtm.com, (ITR e.V., 28/06/2014), http://www.dtm.com/de/news/ekstr-m-um-f-nf-pl-tze-zur-ckversetzt-2014-06-28.html, (Accessed 24/05/2015)