In the 2021 DTM season opener, on Saturday 19th June, New Zealander Liam Lawson had many firsts. He not only won his first DTM race, he did it as the youngest driver ever to win at just 19 years old plus he is the first Kiwi to do so. He also gave Ferrari their first win in their debut DTM race.
The race got underway in very summerlike temperatures of around 30 degrees centigrade at Monza, Italy with an Indy-style rolling start. This first race gave us some very close racing with paint being exchanged a number of times including between the BMW of Timo Glock and Dev Gore’s Audi which resulted in Gore’s retirement. Later in the race Daniel Juncadella in the GruppeM Mercedes-AMG was unable to avoid a minor collision with DTM regular, Nico Müller’s Audi resulting in the Audi spinning a full 360 degrees which lost him a few positions and giving Juncadella a time penalty.
Early in the race, DTM rookie, Vincent Abril led the pack and led well until he had to pitstop where Lawson managed to get past on Abril’s exit in turn one by the skin of his teeth. You could barely see daylight between the Mercedes-AMG of Abril and the Ferrari of Lawson as Lawson squeezed by to take the lead.
Formula 1 driver Alexander Albon piloted his AlphaTauri Ferrari brilliantly in his first DTM race from starting fourteenth to finishing fourth.
There was a great battle, watched by many, between the two female drivers of this season and the first since 2012, British driver Esmee Hawkey and German driver Sophia Flörsch. The pair fought hard throughout the race and it was the T3 Motorsport Lamborghini of Hawkey who came out ahead of Flörsch’s ABT Sportsline Audi.
“I am very happy with the outcome of the race,” said Lawson. “My start was very good, I was able to make up positions straight away. The pit stop was perfect and the pace was good until the end.”
“AF Corse were a bit quicker than us in the pit stops. We have to analyse that exactly where we lost the time,” HRT drivers Abril and Götz said in unison.
By the end of the race, Lawson took the checkered flag with Abril and his HRT Teammate Maximilian Götz completing the podium spaces. The second race of the DTM season will be on Sunday 20th June 2021 at 1:30 pm and will be broadcast live in over 60 countries as well as on SAT.1 and streamed at grid.DTM.com