Di Resta Leads Mercedes 1-2 at the Hungaroring Despite Pitstop Error

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Credit: Daimler Global Media Site

Paul di Resta claimed his first DTM Series victory of 2018 in the opening race at the Hungaroring.

It was the Mercedes driver’s first win since the opening race of the Hungarian round last year.

The Briton was joined on the podium by team-mate Lucas Auer and Audi‘s Nico Müller.

Di Resta, starting from pole position maintained his lead at the start as Auer passed Müller in Turn 2 for second behind.

However, the Swiss driver reclaimed the position into the next corner.

Surprisingly a number of drivers decided to come in for their stops at the end of the opening lap, including Jamie Green who benefitted from this risky strategy last time out at the Lausitzring.

Out front, di Resta and Müller were intent on building a gap over those behind when Auer took the gamble to pit from third.

Di Resta came in for his stop three laps later and maintained track position over Auer; however with his tyres up to temperature Auer easily moved ahead of his brand-mate.

The Briton had been hampered by a sluggish stop that was almost three seconds slower than what his rivals averaged.

Müller, now leading, left the pits following his stop ahead of the Mercedes duo but Auer soon got past him too.

Following a short battle di Resta too had overtaken Müller but this had allowed Auer to build a lead of over two seconds.

The Briton quickly brought his team-mate’s advantage down and when he was given the opportunity retook the lead of the race – although Auer did not put up much of a fight.

From there, di Resta controlled the race into the final 15 minutes of the race to take the win over Auer albeit by only half a second over the Austrian.

Müller held off a late surging René Rast, who was returning to the grid after his massive crash two weeks ago, to finish third for Audi.

Winner last time out at the Lausitzring, Edoardo Mortara finished in fifth for Mercedes.

Rast had been behind Mortara when the leading trio had pitted, as well as after he and the Italian came in to serve their mandatory pitstops, but the reigning champion forced his way through to claim the position.

Gary Paffett was sixth and goes into tomorrow with a seven point lead over BMW‘s Timo Glock in the championship after the German failed to score.

Having looked to be in with the chance of fighting for pole position after practice Robin Frijns could only manage fourteenth on the grid but salvaged his race with seventh place.

Behind was two more Audi’s with Loïc Duval and Jamie Green in eighth and ninth.

Mercedes’ Dani Juncadella rounded off the top ten.

Mike Rockenfeller was eleventh with Mercedes’ Pascal Wehrlein in thirteenth.

It was a difficult day for BMW whose best finisher was Bruno Spengler in twelfth place with his team-mates claiming the final five positions.

The team believes the hotter temperatures are to blame for their lack of pace.

However, if there is anything which is constantly proven in the DTM is that what happens on one day may not be what is the reality the next.

Free practice three, gets underway at 8.30 local time tomorrow with qualifying two at 11.20 for race two which gets underway at 13.30.

2018 DTM Series Results: Hungaroring – Race 1

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An NCTJ accredited Journalism Graduate covering DTM and the FIA Formula 3 Championship.
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