After claiming the first pole position of the 2017 DTM Series, Lucas Auer went on to claim the first race win of the year as well.
“That was the most difficult race of my life. Later on, I had to nurse my tyres through to the end. I had to defend, but at the same time drive fast and avoid the slightest error.”
One of the biggest changes ahead of this season was the decision to get rid of car-to-pit radio except in certain circumstances.
“We had a strategy planned out, but because of the new rules, you’re all on your own out there without team radio. Nobody can tell you if you should be going easy on the tyres – you have to find that out for yourself.”
Following his pit stop BMW‘s Timo Glock had a late surge through the pack as he hunted down the race leader and pressurise him for the lead of the race.
“When Timo [Glock] was getting closer on the last few laps, I knew that, if I could hold off his initial attacks, I would have a chance, because his tyres would then be equally degraded. It really was very hard work.
“But I’m mega happy with the way things turned out. A huge ‘thank you’ to my team. They worked 24/7 over the winter, and that’s now paid off.”
Auer’s victory was his second in the series, his first having come at the Lausitzring last year and was the 176th victory for Mercedes.
He followed up his result with fourth in the Sunday race to leave Hockenheim leading the championship by 14 points over Jamie Green and Gary Paffett.